Infrared Thermal Inspections by Drone

Thermal drone photo of a commercial building in St Louis.

Thermal cameras have been used in various industries for some time now. Solar panel, livestock, wild game, roofing, agriculture, and search & rescue (SAR) are the areas we are helping customers apply this technology. Have an idea? Give us a call, we’re about collaborating to help make your ideas a reality!

Aerial thermal infrared inspection services and surveys are more requested for residential and commercial property than ever before.  Our drone crew utilizes the same technology found in military to identify potential threats. Our infrared thermal inspection services have helped interested real estate buyers across the St Louis region. We can assist any buyer by identifying potential costly repair issues before purchase.

Our expertise is in aerial infrared imaging and commercial building thermal inspection services.  We can help identify hidden damage to your residential or commercial.

We can also help residence and commercial property owners with aerial energy assessments which will help reduce cost and verify what repairs are needed.

All objects emit electromagnetic radiation which is detected with a thermal imager. These imagers then can display the radiation as a temperature and patterns can be detected.

Thermal Inspection Services with imaging also know as infrared thermography services is a service we started offering at the request of our clients. We had several of our commercial clients asked us if we could help them assess damage after a sever storm in the area that damaged commercial and residential property.

You do not need to risk workers climbing on your roof and possibly falling. Our state of the art drones can inspect any building under 400′ tall.  In some areas we can fly higher with permission.

Benefits of Drone Based Infrared Thermal Inspections for Various Industries.

Tackling the safety and maintenance issues of various industries with comprehensive drone-based infrared thermal inspections can be daunting. Do you want to know how you can take advantage of the benefits these inspections?

Read on to learn more!


The use of infrared (IR) thermal imaging is revolutionizing the way engineers perform industrial and commercial inspections. By using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with IR cameras, thermal inspections offer unparalleled accuracy and efficiency. This technology has been applied to a variety of areas, ranging from oil and gas pipelines to solar power plants, hospitals, sporting events, archaeological sites and more.

The benefits of drone-based IR inspection are numerous. Utilizing the heat signature of an object or surface, inspectors can quickly detect differences related to temperature levels or hotspots. This process not only helps identify existing problems that require attention but can also detect potential issues before they become larger problems. Thermal imaging can detect unseen flaws within building structures and complex mechanical parts that may be difficult or dangerous for workers to access in person – thus increasing both safety and job efficacy.

Coupled with advanced analytics tools, infrared technology can enable massive decreases in data processing time while providing accurate results through immediate analysis of frame data by machine learning algorithms. With their combined database output analyses, these technologies provide an extremely effective means for industry workers to quickly locate regions exhibiting abnormal behaviors which would otherwise be difficult to identify by the human eye alone. Drones also allow inspectors greater flexibility in completing the job more quickly than traditional methods with higher levels of accuracy at a much lower cost than manual processes or satellite imaging solutions – making them an ideal choice for a variety of industries looking become more efficient while improving safety protocols.

Infrared FLIR – St Louis Drone Photographer

Benefits of Drone-Based Infrared Thermal Inspections

Drone-based infrared thermal inspections have revolutionized the way that many industries inspect, monitor and maintain facilities, assets and locations. This advanced technology offers numerous benefits when compared with traditional ground-based inspections, ranging from cost reduction to improved safety.

The primary benefit of drone-based infrared thermal inspections is increased safety. Inspectors no longer need to deploy costly ladders or scaffolding in order to fully survey a large area from high above; instead a drone can be used to survey any area quickly and efficiently. Additionally, inspectors can get a birds-eye view of the area being inspected, allowing for greater accuracy and more detailed reporting.

It is also much cheaper to use drones for this type of inspection than sending in a full team of inspectors on the ground. Equipment costs are significantly lower, as well as testing/inspection labor cost as drones can identify defects much faster than traditional inspection methods. Also these inspections often provide greatly improved accuracy and reliability over ground based inspections due to the additional definitions gathered by drones.

Finally, time savings are another major benefit of using drones for this type of inspection; data is collected far quicker than through traditional methods – allowing engineers or technicians to plot their maintenance plans accordingly after analyzing known problem areas more accurately and quickly than ever before possible without drones. Clearly drone-based infrared thermal inspections offer tremendous value across industries; lower costs, increased safety, improved accuracy and customer satisfaction is why they are rapidly gaining popularity amongst businesses looking at efficiency improvements throughout their operations.

Applications of Drone-Based Infrared Thermal Inspections in Different Industries

The use of infrared thermography and drone technology have opened up a new world of possibilities for businesses across many industries. Using a combination of sensors, cameras, and drones, this technology allows for detailed analysis of objects to be observed from a safe distance. Not only does it provide an efficient and cost-effective way to perform inspections in industrial settings, but it also offers additional benefits such as improved safety, productivity and quality control in industry applications.

Inspection of roofs and facades: The use of drone-based infrared thermography inspections can provide valuable information about the condition of roofs and facades, including areas that are otherwise difficult to access. Depending on the application, this technology can detect heat loss around windows and insulation violations in facade elements.

Heat loss assessment: The heat energy emitted by building elements can be measured using drone-based infrared thermography techniques. This helps identify critical problems such as inadequate insulation or clogged HVAC systems that could lead to high energy losses or operation shutdowns due to potential fire risks.

Manufacturing process monitoring: The use of drones with mounted thermal imaging sensors can help monitor the performance of different manufacturing processes by revealing hidden areas where temperatures exceed acceptable limits. It is an often used method in the automotive industry for checking equipment parts during welding operations as well as materials undergoing temperature processing operations like sintering or firing kilns.

Building envelope inspection: Drone-based infrared thermography inspections provide useful information about building envelope performance by detecting potential moisture under roofing membranes or indicating uninsulated sections in external walls that could cause excessive heat transfer losses into the interior space leading to higher operational costs. It is also used for non-destructive assessment of existing wall assembly construction such as insulation behind cladding elements or voids within a given assembly element (e.g., curtain wall).

Real-time thermal monitoring: Thermal imaging sensors on drones offer real-time thermal mapping capabilities with quick feedback minimizing production downtime during certain operations related to power plants, data centers and utilities like oil & gas pipelines or wind turbine farms where accurate temperature readings are essential for safe operation maintenance programs before potential equipment damage occurs due to overheating or overstressed components.

Advantages of Drone-Based Infrared Thermal Inspections

Drone-based infrared thermal inspections offer many advantages over traditional rooftop or ground-level inspections. Thermal imaging can detect a wide range of temperatures and can quickly identify temperature discrepancies not visible to the naked eye. This technology allows asset inspectors to gain precise survey-grade accuracy, as well as gather an abundance of data without having to physically travel to the site.

The following are some advantages of using drone-based infrared thermal inspections in various industries:

1) Ease and Efficiency: Drone-based infrared thermal inspections allow quick and easy access to a variety of areas, from vast expanses or otherwise inaccessible locations, thereby eliminating the need for dangerous and costly scaffolding or lifting operations. The fast turnaround time of these inspections helps organizations save on labor costs and resources.

2) Safety: By using drones instead of humans for inspection, workers are kept at a safe distance away from the inspected asset, thus reducing the risk of accidents due to falling debris or hazardous gases. Moreover, by allowing access to heights that previously could only be reached with major safety risks associated with it — such as construction sites and chimneys — drone based infrared inspection drastically reduces potential risks while increasing safety measures with every job that requires higher altitudes.

3) Increased Visibility and Detail: Drone operated thermal imaging cameras provide more detailed real time images compared to other tools on the market. This helps increase visibility when inspecting assets in hard-to-reach areas such as volumetric surfaces like fuel tanks, high tethered installations, piping conduits amongst many others that are typically not visible from ground level devices up close.

4) Cost Savings: Incorporating drones into operations helps reduce operational costs by cutting human labor expenses from hazardous environments as well as prevent unplanned maintenance issue due early detection of anomalies compared traditional checklist inspection methods done manually which can be subject judgment errors leading too under/over estimating defect size/shape. In addition, drones significantly reduce burden on existing work force, help taking correlations across existing data analysis models/trends hence streamlining decision making process while staying within budget constraints while allowing managers with greater visibility & better information faster resulting potentially cost savings in terms needed closures & repairs.

Overall, utilizing drones within relevant operation eliminates overhead & labor costs related manual jobs offers numerous benefits especially in time saving & operation efficiency via comprehensive insights & data delivered faster than before depending on specific applications adopted..

Challenges of Drone-Based Infrared Thermal Inspections

Although drones with infrared (IR) cameras are useful for inspecting hard-to-reach and otherwise inaccessible areas, this approach has been found to have several limitations.

The use of Drone-Based Infrared Thermal Inspections can be challenging due to certain factors including cost, accuracy, storage capacity, weather conditions and air traffic.

Cost: Since drones with infrared cameras typically require specialized hardware or software that needs to be purchased and configured before they can be used, they can be more expensive than traditional methods such as aerial inspection from helicopters or tower inspections from tall ladders or scaffolding. Additionally, the quality of imagery obtained from a drone is dependent on factors such as accuracy of the lens and image resolution which may add to the overall cost of using this technology.

Storage Capacity: Drones are limited by the amount of total storage data which they can store on-board; however larger datasets require access to either offline storage or a cloud platform for analysis.

Weather Conditions: The state of the environment around inspections sites is one factor that must be taken into consideration before using a drone for IR inspections. Drones are more easily affected by high winds, heavy precipitation and other bad weather conditions than traditional methods such as aerial surveys.

Air Traffic: Drone operators must stay within certain distances from airports or airports’ vicinity in order not to cause disruption in other aircrafts -though rules dictated in each region may differ-. Furthermore flying at night over populated areas also has its restrictions by specific legislation rules. Additionally avoiding powerlines also increases safety whilst flying drones.

Regulations Governing Drone-Based Infrared Thermal Inspections

The need for a drone-based infrared thermal inspection gives rise to a number of regulatory considerations that firms and their service providers must take into account before commencing an inspection. Depending upon the specific context within which the inspection is conducted, additional permits may be required.

In the US, federal regulations state that the person conducting such an inspection must have a Remote Pilot Airman Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Regional drone regulations should also be observed when determining regulatory compliance for a particular project.

Businesses engaging in drone-based infrared thermal inspections should research local, state and/or country laws regarding investigations or surveillance techniques used by public sector organizations or private companies. In some jurisdictions, it may be required for firms seeking to engage in such activities to obtain special permits or authorizations from appropriate authorities. Businesses undertaking this type of work should also inform those whose operations, facilities or equipment will be subject to the inspections.

Finally, considerations must carefully made concerning applicable safety standards and measures as well as insurance coverage with respect to these projects. Depending on the specific circumstances, an evaluation of all relevant laws and standards will ensure legal compliance when conducting these types of inspections using drones.


In conclusion, drone-based infrared thermal inspections offer a range of benefits for many industries. From helping to detect roof moisture intrusion and finding hidden roofing defects to locating HVAC equipment performance issues and insulation deficiencies, drones provide thermal inspection solutions that allow companies to get detailed data quickly and efficiently.

The ability to capture images, videos and stills of the entire area of interest can aid in pinpointing problems quickly, thus providing a comprehensive overview of an industrial site’s condition without having to physically inspect it. Furthermore, the cost effectiveness of these inspections makes them a great option for any industry looking for detailed thermal information without breaking the bank.


Drones are revolutionizing how inspections are done in a number of industries. Drones enable companies to speed up their inspection process, reduce man-hours, and also significantly lower costs. Drone-based infrared thermal inspections deliver even more value when it comes to data-driven decisions and analysis. To help you understand the advantages of drone-based infrared thermal inspections, here are some frequently asked questions:

Q: What Are Infrared Thermal Inspections?
A: Infrared thermal inspections involve using an infrared camera mounted to a drone to capture pulse patterns, or anomalies that are invisible to the naked eye. These pulse patterns can indicate potential issues with equipment, wiring, insulation materials or other structural components.

Q: What Industries Benefit from Drone-based Thermal Imaging?
A: Drone-based thermal imaging is beneficial for a wide range of industries including Oil & Gas Exploration and Production; Electronics Manufacturing; Industrial Manufacturing; Aerospace & Defense; Transportation & Logistics; Utilities & Renewable Energy; Power Generation & Distribution; Agriculture and Construction.

Q: What Are The Advantages Of Using A Drone For Thermal Imaging Over Ground Based Techniques?
A: Utilizing drones for aerial inspection cuts down on human risk factors since people don’t have to go up on elevated or hard–to–reach structures anymore. It is also much faster than traditional methods as images can be taken in seconds instead of minutes or hours because the drone is already preprogrammed with coordinates before takeoff. By collecting data quickly, organizations can make more informed decisions promptly without worrying about tedious report creation processes after each mission which saves time and money overall. Additionally, drones provide operators higher quality data as they can reach points on remote sites that were never accessible before along with providing HD video footage during flights which allows for documentation review purposes later on down the line if needed.

Rob Haller