Industrial Inspection of a 104-Year-Old Chimney

SkydronesSkyDrones Tecnologia Avionica in Brazil was able to inspect and estimate the cost of repairing a 104-year-old chimney by reconstructing it using UAV-acquired images and image processing software.

The initial goal of this project was the security inspection of a chimney, which is part of an old brewery and modern Shopping Center, using only photographs. For this reason, oblique pictures were taken with the Skydrone Spyder and DJI Phantom in eight cardinal directions (eight “faces” of the chimney). After seeing the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) project that Pix4D did in Brazil, SkyDrones decided to process the images in Pix4Dmapper to see how the results would come out.

The original project was only focused on the chimney, but after the first step – initial processing in Pix4Dmapper – they found out that we could create a model of the whole shopping center area (100 m x 150 m). 822 pictures (4000 x 3000 pixels each) were used.

Achieved Results

The results were astounding. Using only the pictures taken to inspect the chimney, Pix4D software was able to reconstruct the whole Shopping Center in complete 3D. When the company showed the first 3D model to the engineers, they loved the possibility of measuring and navigating in 3D by themselves in their office (in this case the company is in Sao Paulo, 1.500 km away from the chimney site).

Chimney

Advantage of This New Technology

For the engineering company, the main advantage is the possibility to estimate the cost of repairing the upper part of the chimney, now that they are able to measure the structure in their office. The combination of small UAVs and Pix4Dmapper is unbeatable in price, time and ease of performing the job. With this technology, one  can reconstruct a 80m chimney easily instead of worrying about how to do the same task with a LiDAR scanner!

Source: Press Release

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