Ohio-based Asymmetric Technologies LLC, a provider of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) inspection services and data collection, says it is the first company to receive Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval to commercially perform bridge inspection services using UAVs.
The recently issued waiver allows the company – a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business – to use UAV technology to conduct the inspections throughout the U.S. UAV technology’s high-definition and thermal imaging can detect faults, corrosion and other signs of deterioration and poses no additional risk to humans and minimal disruptions to traffic, Asymmetric explains.
Collaborative efforts between Asymmetric Technologies and their partners, Microdrones GmbH of Germany and Avyon Inc. of Canada, will advance the use of robotics for safety, reducing potential hazards to their personnel and to the public in general.
According to the exemption document, the company will operate an md4-1000 UAV from Microdrones. The GPS-equipped aircraft weighs around 8.5 pounds, including payload, and has a maximum speed of 27 mph and an operating endurance of 88 minutes.
Asymmetric Technologies says it is planning on requesting further permission to conduct other infrastructure inspection tasks with a UAV, including cell phone towers and power lines.