SUMMARY: A unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can perform a visual inspection of a large aircraft over 85% faster than traditional visual inspections conducted by humans. Imagery from the UAV can be fed into a computer to create a three-dimensional (3-D) model of the aircraft for more extensive analysis and archiving. PROBLEM: Visual inspections are required to evaluate the condition of aircraft including scratches, dents, and other defects. Traditional inspection methods involve one or more humans and typically take two hours to complete.
SOLUTION: Intel and Airbus Industries are now demonstrating that UAV's can conduct these aircraft inspections more efficiently than humans. At a recent international airshow in England, a modified AscTec Falcon 8 drone with Intel RealSense cameras and piloted by a human conducted a large aircraft inspection in only 15 minutes. The UAV followed a predetermined flight path and systematically took a series of pictures that were then entered into a database to construct a complete 3-D model of the aircraft.
“We believe drones will change the way people do business, now and in the future,” said Anil Nanduri, vice president and general manager within Intel’s New Technology Group. “And with new capabilities such as Intel RealSense collision avoidance technology, drones can literally be a company’s eye in the sky.”