Wind Turbine Inspection using Hammer Missions

Updated: May 25



Overview


Hammer is an adaptive flight automation platform for drone surveys and inspections.

Hammer supports a large number of mission types on both mobile tablets through Hammer App and Desktop environments through Hammer Hub.

Whatever the mission, Hammer can adapt to it and help you capture the best possible data.

Tutorial

In this tutorial, we will focus on wind turbine inspections — 1 of the many different inspection missions supported by Hammer.


Wind Turbine Inspection


This type of inspection is useful for aligning your drone directly in front of the turbine blades for closer inspection and analysis using a visual or thermal camera.


In this mission, Hammer generates a flight plan based on key GPS points input by the pilot. These key GPS points are typically the waypoints involved the flight trajectory depending on the blade positions of the wind turbine, and the type of inspection undertaken. Hammer joins the input GPS points into a single smooth trajectory, maintains the drone orientation as input by the pilot and takes photos at the set distance interval.


In the figures below - Points A,B,C,D...G,H, I represent key GPS points.


To ensure maximum safety, it's important that the key GPS points are input by the pilot by first flying and positioning drone manually.


Steps to Create

  1. Connect the drone to the Hammer App.

  2. Tap on the new mission file icon to create a new mission file. Rename the file.

  3. Tap on the add(+) button in the top right corner of the side panel.

  4. Choose ‘Turbine Inspection’ from the available missions.

  5. Fly the drone to the first key GPS point of the wind turbine. Ensure the drone's orientation is such that the blade is clearly visible. Tap on the drone icon on the map screen to input this position.

  6. Then fly the drone to the second key GPS point of the flight plan. Ensure the drone's orientation is such that the blade is clearly visible. Tap on the drone icon on the map screen to input this position.

  7. Repeat steps 5-6 for all key GPS points. In the figures below - Points A,B,C,D...G,H, I represent key GPS points.

  8. Tap OK in the right hand panel when done.


Marking all key GPS points using the drone (credit dji enterprise)


Steps to Configure

  1. Tap on the white gear icon on the mission you wish to configure.

  2. This will open a settings menu.

Configuring the wind turbine inspection mission


Brief description of the available settings:


Camera Type: The camera to be attached to the drone for the inspection. Hammer will use this camera's focal length and field of view to estimate the image footprint on the turbine surface.


Take Photo Every: The distance interval (in metres) between photos.


Once you've configured the mission settings, you can then configure the drone settings, such as the drone speed and the Go Home Height (higher than the turbine height!)

Steps to Simulate

  1. Once you are finished creating and configuring the mission, land and disconnect the drone. Now press play to start a simulation.

  2. Hammer will prompt you to add a simulator, press OK and choose a home location for the simulation. Then press OK.

  3. The simulation will begin and you’ll see a simulated drone appear on the screen flying the wind turbine inspection mission.

  4. This allow you to check that the mission has been configured properly and the expected behaviour of the drone during flight.

Steps to Fly

  1. Once you are happy with the created mission, simply connect your drone to Hammer through the USB port on the remote controller.

  2. You’ll see a drone icon appear on the screen at its current location.

  3. Takeoff and position the drone close the mission start point.

  4. Press Play to start the mission.

  5. Press Pause anytime to pause the mission, and play to resume the mission.

Post Processing

Once you've collected the data, we recommend using a data inspection platform to sift through the images and annotate your findings. You can even run your data through AI-based defect detection software to speed up your analysis process. If you'd like to learn more about data processing options, please feel free to get in touch with us at team@hammermissions.com.




Summary

And…that’s it! Now you know how to create, simulate and fly your own wind turbine inspection mission in Hammer. If you currently do not have access to the iOS app, feel free to contact us through hammermissions.com or download the app through the app store.


If you’d like to learn more about other missions supported in Hammer, please visit our mission tutorials.


To learn more about our enterprise solutions, including mission collaboration, flight analytics and more please contact us at team@hammermissions.com

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