Drones for non -destructive control

October 02, 2023
Дрони для неруйнівного контролю
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In recent years, robots have been very actively used in various sectors of the national economy, such as agriculture, cartography, geodesy, insurance, mining, telecommunications, energy, oil and gas industry, security and safety, search work, cargo delivery, military tasks, entertainment, professional and amateur photo and video shooting, inspection of the technical condition of engineering facilities and communications. In this article, attention will be focused precisely on the latter direction.

Monitoring the technical condition of engineering facilities is an extremely important area. For the safe and continuous operation of such facilities, it is necessary to know what condition they are in and how close their condition is to the dangerous level of operational output. Moreover, this data must be regularly updated, since the residual reliability of a particular object decreases with each day of its normal operation. Emergency situations (operating modes) are possible, and in the context of general statistics, inevitable, which lead to a decrease in residual operational reliability, much more dramatic than during normal operation. All these factors, together with the possibilities for their implementation, should be taken into account in the process of forecasting the residual resource of an object, planning scheduled preventative and unscheduled repair and restoration work, in order to avoid the negative consequences of the failure of an object.

Such tasks are assigned to specially created testing laboratories (ISO-17025) or inspection bodies (ISO-17020) licensed or certified for compliance with the requirements of specialized standards.

In recent years, in the industry of monitoring the technical condition of engineering structures, the technologies of remotely controlled robotic systems are being used more and more often and the range of tasks they perform is constantly growing, which is already noticeably affecting the speed, quality and cost of their implementation. In Ukraine, a market for services for the use of remotely controlled robotic systems (hereinafter referred to as DURS) has been created and is continuously growing, the number of its operators, such as DroneUA and their partners, is growing

Market participants.

The market for non-destructive testing and technical diagnostics services in Ukraine is quite young (after all, market relations in Ukraine themselves are a fairly recent phenomenon), but today there is some competition in it, and some of its representatives do not hesitate to boast of their developments (this includes the development of equipment for implementation of non-destructive testing and technical diagnostics, and technology for using this equipment, and training qualified personnel in this industry).

Name of the organization and its main location. Carrying out quality control work ("+" — the organization performs such work; "-" — the organization does not perform such work) Development and production of equipment for quality control work (+/-) Training of personnel for quality control work (+/-)
Ukrainian Society of Non-Destructive Testing and Technical Diagnostics, Kyiv + +
PromTechDiagnostics, Krivoy Rog +
OTN DIEKS, Dnepr + +
DP-TEST, Kyiv +
NPF "ULTRAKON" LLC, Kyiv + + +
NPF "Diagnostic devices", Kyiv + + +

Developing the topic of equipment and its application, let’s move on to the issue of the market for unmanned systems services. This direction is much younger than mentioned above, however, many industries are already using the services of this market today, such as: agriculture; operational cartography; geodesy; mining industry; insurance market; telecommunications; energy; Oil and gas industry; chemical industry; emergencies; search and rescue activities; security activities, construction and operation of construction sites, classical audio and video recording.

Today, there is a certain circle of participants, from which some leading organizations can be identified. Certain rules and standards have emerged among participants in the unmanned systems services market. The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles has for some time now become an administratively regulated process by government agencies (State Aviation Administration, State Enterprise “Ukraine Rukh”).

Returning to the immediate topic of this article - monitoring the technical condition of objects using DUS, it should be said that today only DroneUA is actively working in this direction.

Operating principle

Quality control and technical condition of objects is carried out using traditional physical methods, the application processes of which are improved from time to time. The use of DUS takes this industry to a qualitatively new level. So far we are talking about visual-measuring and thermal control methods, partly about magnetic particle testing. However, time and technology do not stand still and it is not at all excluded that soon other control methods will also be improved through the use of robots. Although even now the message is clearly visible that it is time to combine traditional methods with the latest technologies (if control is carried out in monitoring mode, then the factor of the dynamics of their development is involved in the process of assessing defects).

The main principle of operation is the identification of structural defects with their subsequent assessment in terms of geometric dimensions, spatial orientation, the degree of responsibility of the structural elements on which they are located, operating conditions of the structure on which they are located (if the control is carried out in monitoring mode, then in the process of assessing defects the factor of the dynamics of their development is involved). The defects assessed according to the above criteria are compared with the requirements of the relevant regulatory documentation, on the basis of which a decision is made on the suitability/limited suitability/unsuitability of the control object.

For flaw detection robotics, this is an opportunity to take work to a new level. For robotics, flaw detection is a new field of activity, a new direction for applying the achievements of robotics as a science and their improvement. It is certain that the need to combine the scientific and technical bases of both disciplines to ensure the quality and technical condition of structures and structures is simply obvious. To this end, leading organizations in both scientific disciplines are already carrying out joint work in this direction. Specialists of the previously mentioned DroneUA and the Ukrainian Society of Non-Destructive Testing and Technical Diagnostics have developed a number of procedures (methods) for conducting visual-measuring and thermal imaging testing for typical buildings for various economic purposes (bridges, power lines, wind power plants, pipelines, concrete and reinforced concrete structures) taking into account specifics of carrying out work using DUS. To date, the procedures have been tested at city infrastructure facilities and continue to be improved.

Inspection of heat pipeline elements of thermal power plant No. X, Kyiv

Progress of the examination:

Place of examination: Kiev, st. Extreme, GPS (approximately): latitude – 50; thirty; 14,XXX05981429595, longitude – 30; 37; 27,XXX342599993569

Survey period: from 03/03/2019 to 09/03/2019

The examination was carried out for: the presence of corrosion lesions, defects such as “discontinuity” on surfaces and welded joints of the OK, deviations of the spatial and geometric parameters of structural elements of the OK in order to identify them and determine their admissibility in accordance with the requirements of regulatory documentation.

In conditions: Temperature: +2 C°, Relative humidity: 39%, Wind speed: 4 – 5 m/s, Illumination: 1000 – 1500 lux (in the shade), 3000 – 5000 lux (in direct sunlight), no precipitation , in the city.

NDT method: VT, indirect.

Instruments for examination: Camera 12 MP, optical zoom: 24 – 48; DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise quadcopter; an online video editor was used to measure the size of defects from their photographic image

Artyom Trotsky

Head of Remote Inspection at DroneUA

Published on  Updated on  

DroneUA is an international system integrator of unmanned solutions and robotics.

On the market of Ukraine and Eastern Europe, the DroneUA group of companies is the largest importer and distributor of leading drone manufacturers in the world and represents technological solutions from the brands XAG, EcoFlow, Pix4D, Parrot, Chasing, DroneDeploy, AgroCares and others.

The group of companies has its own engineering, production and service divisions, as well as an open data processing center. Technological solutions presented by DroneUA are used on more than 4 million hectares of cultivated areas of Ukraine. According to the results of the 2021 and 2022 agricultural seasons, more than 2.2 million hectares were protected with drone sprayers from DroneUA.

DroneUA is among the top three most innovative businesses in the agricultural sector of Ukraine according to FORBES and among the twenty most innovative enterprises of Ukraine.

The group of companies continues to expand the list of technological brands that it presents on the Ukrainian market, and is active in agriculture, the oil and gas industry, as well as in the fields of energy, geodesy and topography.

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