DD Inspections & Thermal

Will DD work with doing thermal inspections of roofs and walls on large buildings? Also looking to see what others may be charging for these services as I am in the process of obtaining an sUAS Level 1 Thermal Certification. I know thermal used to be very expensive, but with the new advances in cameras and pricing of cameras coming down I have no idea what people may be charging for these services. Any help is greatly appreciated!

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I’m not sure about DD for thermal inspections That said, there is far more to thermal inspections than buying the equipment and interpreting the data. First, plan on at least $12,000 for a decent resolution imager. You probably will need a radiometric imager although I get good results with a non-radiometric. Resolution needs to be 640x512. Focal length: probably 13 mm for best compromise between enough altitude above the roof and a minimum 80% front and sidelap. Then there are all the settings in DJI’s XT software. Then you fly the roof. Next, how do you stitch the imagery? Finally, what and how do you present the results to your client? Are you able to point out the anomalies or are you going to make specific recommendations?

To get started, you need your Part 107. Then you will need a 107.29 waiver to fly at night. Then you need to check the airspace to make sure you can get the waiver to fly the area (not always available through LAANC). Before you fly your first mission, I’d recommend you get a Building Envelope certification and your Level 1 Thermographer designations. Then, pair up with an expert roofer to help understand how roofs are built and the implications of the numerous types of roofing material and their impact on when and how to fly.

That’s a short list of things to consider before you make the plunge. It can be very expensive to get into the field, but is very rewarding once you get ther.

Thanks for the great feedback. I have been able to find 640x512 setups for less than $10k. As far as presenting the results of the infrared to the client, on roofs, I will be working with a professional roofer as well as taking commercial construction classes. Stitching the imagery together was one of my biggest questions, as I’m not sure if DD can do this or if another program would have to be used.

I am part 107 certified as well as have a daylight waiver. The client that has asked me to start doing the thermography is located in a 0 ft AGL grid, so I had to apply without using LAANC which was approved for the next 2 years. I was scheduled to go through ITC’s sUAS Training next month for my sUAS Level 1 Cert but it has since been canceled, so now I have to figure out how fast I want to get it done and how far I want to travel to do it. I’m starting to see how expensive it is and have been told about how it is very rewarding and worth it in the end. My goal is to do it and be doing it within the next few months. I have not been able to find ANYTHING as far as how to price the services so I’m definitely needing help in that area. Any suggestions for pricing?

Again, thanks for the great feedback!

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Could you pm me so we can discuss offline?

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