Drone Cell Tower Inspections: What You Need To Know

cell tower against a clear blue sky

Remember back when cell phones were first introduced to society at large? Remember all those commercials that featured cell phone technicians going from spot to spot across America and asking the person on the other end, “Can you hear me now?”

Cell phones as well as cell phone technology have come a long way since those days. That would be partly thanks to the introduction of such technology as the 4G networks, and now the 5G networks. And those networks wouldn’t be possible without all those cell towers that dot the landscape from coast to coast as well as border to border.

While this technology continues to evolve, one thing is for sure: there will be more cell towers installed. And at some point, all of those cell towers will need to be inspected as mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Cell tower inspection, both the inspections of existing towers and inspection of potential sites for new towers, generally involves two things. An inherent amount of manpower, and also as much risk to that manpower.

Thanks to a world of design and innovation, there now exists a better way to inspect our aging infrastructure of cell tower facilities. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or, as we commonly refer to them, drones have implemented a new age of cell tower inspections and inspection services.

No longer does it require an inspection to be performed by an actual ‘inspector’ (human) dangling from climbing gear at staggering heights. These inspections can now safely be done by qualified drone pilots equipped with a vast array of imaging and inspection cameras. 

What used to take a full day, or days, to complete can now be completed in a matter of hours while all parties involved stay firmly planted on the ground!

But, as was mentioned, this is the result of innovation as it pertained to a better way of doing something. And with all the new cell phone technology coming about on a regular basis, the demand for bigger and better cell tower inspections by drones has become an integral part of any drone inspection service.

That is precisely what we are going to be looking at today: cell tower inspections and the current technology being used for those inspections.

So, let’s just jump right in and take a look at exactly what a cell tower inspection is. In subsequent posts, we are going to look at the types of technology used as well as an industry leader in drone inspection services for all of your cell tower inspection needs.

What Does a Good Cell Tower Inspection Consist Of?

In the introduction above, we saw that using drone technology for cell tower inspections we can virtually eliminate accidents that are incurred by the dangers of climbing to inspect the tower.

By keeping the inspectors planted on the ground, there can actually be more focus placed on the inspection process and the number of items inspected.

Drone cell tower inspection allows the inspection team to:

  • Uncover any potential issues with damage to the tower facility and the tower structure. Drone technology is very effective in identifying potential problems with aging and the infrastructure.
  • Integrate frequent inspection into the cell towers’ monthly or semi-annual maintenance program. (And just because a cell tower facility has been recently built and is considered to be rather new, it is not immune from construction issues that could compromise the integrity of the facility or the tower itself.)
  • Have the ability to cover more components of the cell tower in the inspection and therefore allow the team to essentially perform more inspections leading to a better cell tower construction product.

When performing these drone cell towers inspections, the imagery and data packages can more than pay for the service. Also, by using a drone, you are getting a permanent record of the inspection that can be referred to time and time again — unlike when there are only the inspector’s eyes for information.

These data and image sets include things like:

  • 3D modeling of complete cell tower and cell tower facility
  • Complete and precise measurements of the spacing between ground-based equipment and the height of the cell tower center
  • Complete and precise measurements of the distance from the cell tower equipment back to ground level

Drone cell tower inspections have the ability to focus on details of the tower and facility that were previously disregarded. Things such as:

  • Utility racks
  • Hand holds
  • Gas/Electric meters
  • Transformers (both interior and exterior)
  • Standby generators
  • All platforms, pedestals, and cabinets

Drone inspection services for cell towers and their perspective facilities have revolutionized the way we inspect cell towers and dramatically improved the quality of cell tower inspection.

If you have read this post and are totally sold on drone cell tower inspections, then by all means you need to give the team at Mile High Drones a call. This team of dedicated and professional drone pilots and drone pilot support teams are on the cutting edge of the latest in cell tower inspections by drones.

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