UAS/Drone use in this industry - questions for the pro's

I’m doing some market research into the use of sensor equipped drones for use in Home and Commercial inspection. I’ve spoken with a couple of inspectors here in the Denver/Boulder area and one of them suggested I contact this association with my line of questioning.

We are commercial drone operators holding both Part 61 Pilot Certificates, an FAA 333 Exemption, and we are also Part 107 operators. We’re also fully insured, etc.

We have a DJI Inspire 1 and a Tarot 810 Hex - both equipped with a FLIR Vue Pro (640px resolution, 30 FPS). We initially purchased the equipment for Search and Rescue efforts but since then we have identified a number of markets where we feel this can be a very useful piece of equipment.

We see potential in the inspection sector. In particular we’ve identified three areas we are doing market research into: 1) Home/Building efficiency; 2) Roof top moisture inspection; 3) Solar panel inspection.

So if i may I have a couple basic question for the forum:

  1. Is the industry as a whole (or to what degree) embracing the use of this technology? How well do you feel the industry understand the technology and even more important the potential for use of the technology?

  2. To the degree that it is are you as inspectors moving towards keeping their use “in house” or given the current landscape with the FAA and all the requirements to operate commercially is the trend to look towards UAS commercial operators? (I’d imagine it’s a bit of both)

  3. Where do you feel a drone would be most helpful within this industry in the broad sense? By this I mean in regards to not just IR equipped drones but drones also equipped with a standard camera.

  4. As we are not certified inspectors are there any regulations within the industry we should be aware of? It seems to me that if we’re sub-contracting with a certified inspector and they are simply using our data we should be OK.

  5. Our first target is roof top moisture. For those familiar with using infrared for moisture inspection: Is radiometric a requirement or does “relative” suffice for the job?

I’m here hoping to start a conversation. That’s a two way street. I’m more than happy to share my knowledge and insights.

Douglas La Farge - President & CTO

DT Aerial Photography LLC
Insured - FAA Part 107 & 333 Exempt

I will chime in here I do commercial roof moisture inspections just did a 11.8 K last evening and have a 230,000 K on the books. I have rented a helicopter and performed aerial scan of a roof and think a properly operated drone with IR is the next step for roof scans, if the price is right.

Wish I had one for commercial I don’t have a need for residential some do.

My most frequent costumers are roofing contractors who require a pre scan to determine if moisture is present beneath the substrate in order to determine if an overlay can be performed. Building material MFG will not warranty their product unless a IR scan is performed prior to the overlay

Ps give me a call if you want to talk

PS again I have some questions about the IR camera you are using on the drone

I can’t thank Charley enough for taking the phone call from me this morning. One of his concerns was if what we offer is cost effective and I believe we agree the answer is yes. He was also wondering if the resolution was adequate for this type of work and it’s great information to know that 640x512 is more than enough.

Yes It was nice talking with you and I would say I could not compete with your price if you was in my area. I would sub to you in a heart beat and we both could make some money;-):smiley: