Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are starting to be use in previously unheard fields of activity. One of these innovations is church survey with a drone. The advantages of this way are pretty clear. The inspection and survey of a church building can be done without an instalation of a scaffolding. The whole visual inspection is low-cost, effective and allows to easily reach hard accessible and fragile areas. However, inspections of high buildings are not such hot news. For example, Cambridge Unmanned Aerial Vehicles had been operating drones to for visual supervision of various buildings for many years and their specialization are mainly those with challenging acces. Alan Perrin from Cambridge UAV says: “With the recruitment of staff that specialize in the field and the advent of reliable multi-rotor flight control systems and high capacity lithium polymer batteries it was decided to investigate the possibility of using unmanned aerial vehicles to fulfil some of the requirements of its survey and inspection work.”
Imagine the drone flying around an ecclesiastical building. The important part of survey is to know what exactly the customer is trying to achieve with such inspection. Then the UAS operator is able to provide HD images of the fixed church structure and extract images for further usage. Moreover, the image from the drone camera can be viewed by a customer during the whole process, which significantly makes the inspection easier and more effective. After that is really uncomplicated to review the images and provide any neccesary copies.
Quinquenial architect Peter Slinger RIBA greatly appreciates the contribution of CA drones for his work: “The solution came as a result of seeing UAV’s (commonly referred to as “Drones”) being used in other fields for high definition filming. We used drones supplied by Cambridge UAV to help us with our inspection and the results were spectacular.” He acknowledged the reduction of time-consuming, danger follows from inspection of inaccesible and fragile parts of the old buildings. The ability of providing high-definition records during building survey has certainly a great potential for the next development. However, the aerial inspection with drones couldn´t be only a matter of work by experts, architects or preservationists. I can imagine even a regular folks, using copters as useful helpers for roof reconstructions and inspection. For it´s a way easy and you´ll be able to reveal even defects which can´t be find by a naked eye. Well, the next step of this development can be maybe some alfa drone-pigeon, defending old churches, statues or castles from the common pigeon flocks and a well known pollution caused by them. I suppose that the autonomous flight along the building can be done pretty easily, though we could probably need two drone-pigeons because of the battery limit. Or maybe you have a better idea?