BEACHWOOD, Ohio (April 21, 2016) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted approval for the first nighttime commercial drone operation in the U.S. to SkyBEAM unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Tremco. SkyBEAM is also approved to operate during the day.
The groundbreaking SkyBEAM (Building Envelope Aerial Mapping) UAV flies around buildings and uses high-definition (HD) video and thermographic (infrared) cameras to locate where they may have energy leaks, rooftop damage, deteriorating façades, safety issues and other potential problems.
SkyBEAM’s thermographic camera shows temperature variations around a building that indicate problems, such as poor or missing window sealing or wet rooftop insulation, that can lead to significant capital expenses, increased operating costs, occupant discomfort and other issues.
Infrared scanning is most effective at night, when the sun is not warming the building. Traditional infrared scans require technicians to traverse rooftops at night, while façade inspections dictate working from scaffolding or cranes. SkyBEAM is safer, faster, more cost effective and more accurate than conventional methods of mapping buildings.
In addition to its infrared scanning capability, SkyBEAM has an exceptionally high resolution video camera that can easily read the fine print on a warranty from 50 feet. This camera can map potential building problems, such as gaps or tears in the roof, tiny cracks or movement in the façade, deteriorating concrete and the need for appropriate rooftop safety equipment. Technicians can then safely mark problem areas during the day for removal and replacement, or further analysis if necessary.
A highly trained two-person crew, including a licensed pilot, operates the UAV safely on the ground. SkyBEAM can fly horizontally across roofs, or vertically up to 400 feet (approximately 40 stories). It can reach speeds of 25 mph and retain its flight path in winds of up to 25 mph and gusts reaching 50 mph.
Toronto-based Industrial SkyWorks (ISW), a leader in aerial building inspections using unmanned technologies, developed SkyBEAM in partnership with Tremco Group’s Roofing division. ISW has been operating Tremco Roofing SkyBEAM drones in Canada over the past 18 months to great success. The FAA has approved ISW to operate SkyBEAM commercially in the U.S; SkyBEAM is now available to customers from Tremco Commercial Sealants & Waterproofing and Tremco Roofing & Maintenance through an exclusive relationship with ISW.
SkyBEAM is ideal for low-slope roofing and façade diagnostics on multi-building campuses such as educational institutions and healthcare facilities, and addresses increasingly common façade inspection ordinances in such cities as New York, Chicago and numerous others that seek to ensure public safety.
SkyBEAM’s software consolidates infrared scans and HD video images into a comprehensive, interactive, easy-to-understand report that facility owners and managers, and technicians, access through a cloud-based application. The report clearly and accurately shows problem areas, helping decision makers determine their plan of action.
A virtual model of the building is created in 2D and 3D and can be viewed from any angle. The model allows users to overlay thermal images to their exact location on the building. Photographs, comments and other data can be added in real time through a tablet, including when technicians are on site, to ensure that work can be verified and that the report always has the latest information.
Data can also be transmitted down to those on the roof. Through geo-positioning, technicians can always see their exact location in relation to problem areas. As they walk across the roof, the scan moves with them so they can precisely locate where work needs to take place.
The SkyBEAM program will be supported by sales and technical resources from both Tremco Commercial Sealants & Waterproofing, Tremco Roofing & Building Maintenance as well as Tremco’s WTI (Weatherproofing Technologies Inc.) subsidiary. Watch the video on SkyBEAM Aerial Mapping.
About Industrial SkyWorksIndustrial SkyWorks is a Toronto-based commercial unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and data solutions company. We serve industrial and commercial markets worldwide, providing UAV data and image collection, technical analysis and advanced image modeling services. Industrial SkyWorks brings the strength of IT to unmanned aerial systems (UAS), by deploying our own proprietary applications and working with our in-house GIS and IT professionals to build custom state-of-the-art solutions for our client.