Our drone structural inspection process includes time-proven methods from the tower pole and construction industry which include NDT techniques, thickness loss and corrosion rate measurement to predict remaining life and corrosion mitigation. Matergenics customers benefit by receiving the latest skill-sets and technologies in drone on-site inspection, non-destructive examination (NDE), laboratory testing and engineering analysis which helps them identify potential problems and reduce the likelihood of catastrophic failures


Corrosion Inspection of Power Transmission & Telecommunication Structures

Telecommunication towers and power Transmission lines are essential for the functioning of businesses, navigation systems, defense systems, and social services such as police, firefighters, and ambulances.


  • Drone Corrosion Inspection of Line and Substation Structures
  • Atmospheric Corrosion Inspection
  • Corrosion Risk Assessment
  • Remedial Recommendations
  • Photographic Documentation
  • NACE Certified Inspectors

The photo to the left is an example photo that is closely related to cable inspection. This particular photo was taken to inspect the integrity of a power line conductor, after a manned-aircraft collision. The photo was taken at a distance of 8’ away, with no zoom.

In terms of flight of a guy-wire, we estimate that an 800’ wire can be flown in four-hours or less, with NDT VT inspection in a similar amount of time. For inspection of the bottom-side of the guy wire, our M210 drone with the top mount camera is ideal and would optimize safe flight.

Depending upon the frequency emitted from the radio tower, we would be comfortable in flying a live tower. Our flight control frequencies reside the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz ISM bands. Should the situation require it, we can lock and operate onto a specific band to avoid interference.

Our Reports:

Substation and transmission poles/towers-Matergenics Inc. will review and analyze the onsite photos and data using their PhD-level in-house experts of the subject matter to provide a detailed report on conditions on a per pole basis in addition to the condition of the equipment and structures within the substation. The final report will include documentation and analysis of :

  • Overheating in conductors: This usually happens at busbars, switches, and connections for different reasons including loose connection, formation of corrosion products at the joint, mechanical damages, or undersized conductor (design issue)
  • Leaking components: Detect leaks of sulfur hexafluoride gas (SF6) and oil from substation equipment
  • Failed insulators: Identify porcelain and polymer insulators failed due to cracking, chipping, etc.
  • Corroded areas on poles, load bearing members, fixtures and fasteners.
  • Degraded coatings and loss of galvanized thickness based on color of inter-metallic layers
  • Degradation of concrete including; cracking, chipping, flaking, and corrosion of steel reinforcements
The final deliverable to client will include the organization and storage of all raw images collected and provided on an external hard drive.
  1. The final report shall be provided in hard copy and also via a web based portal for which client will be granted access.
  2. The final report shall include a listing of each structure, images, pole type, type of damage identified, severity of damage via a ranking system and the latitude/longitude of each structure.

A Summary Report shall also be provided in a “dashboard” format to present to senior level management summarizing damages at each Project Site.

  1. The work performed under this SOW will not be considered complete unless a final report is submitted by Contractor and it is accepted by the client.
  2. Determine unacceptable risks and recommend engineering solutions

Corrosion of power utility structures is a primary cause of in-service equipment degradation. When a power transmission structure corrodes to the point where it starts experiencing structural corrosion and material loss, the risk mitigation practices cannot be effectively applied and the structure repair/replacement remains as the only viable option.

lab and field equipment

all equipment calibrated on a routine basis in accordance with both national and international standards

Case Example

The inspection of aging high elevation guy wires should be handled in a tiered approach. As the tier level increases, the time and complexity, and therefore the cost, of the inspection/testing increases.

Tier 1 consists of an atmospheric corrosion risk assessment of the tower site. Several environmental factors would be determined to calculate the ISO 9223 classification, the corrosion rate and remaining life based on corrosion models. An on-site inspection would consist of chloride and sulfate deposition measurements (dew collection and wet candle tests), and a general overview of the site including:

  • Time in service
  • Materials in use
  • Classification of the Environment per ISO: Weather and climate (time of wetness): Chloride and Sulfate deposition
  • Elevation
  • Flora

Tier 1 will provide the type of environment and estimated corrosion rate of guy wire components.

Tier 2, a simple visual/high mag inspection, should be the next step. Due to the high elevation of guy wires, this inspection is accomplished using a drone.

To inspect guy-wire, we can fly closer and provide a 30X optical zoom to detect minute details (if needed). discoloration, corrosion, pitting, or cracking will be noted. A reliable technique for corrosion detection. This approach is being used for detection of corrosion an d fatigue cracks on Utility towers.

If the corrosion observed by the drone is deemed severe, further inspection is required. Tier 3 requires a specialized, electromagnetic apparatus . This apparatus scans the interior of the wire and can detect, cracks, and breaks within the wire. A winch and pulley system is required to move the test head up the guy wire, so temporary rigging on the tower is necessary. Very expensive process due to the complexity of this setup, a subcontractor would likely need to be hired. A similar system may also be utilized to perform routine maintenance such as oiling the guy wires.

Tier 1 inspection of elevated guy wires may require , only one day onsite. It is estimated that Tier 2 inspections of high elevation guy wires will take about 5 hours per guy wire.

Protecting your Infrastructure

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