The builder announced flying robots from specialist SkyCatch received approvals from the United States Federal Aviation Administration for commercial use following successful demonstrations on a large LNG project in Australia.
The drones feature a variety of sensors like high-definition cameras, infrared scanners, thermal sensors and radiation monitors, which all work in sync to gather real-time data for terrain and project analytics. They also carry an automated power system that recharges during operation to allow prolonged flying sessions.
Bechtel said the data collected by the drones would be stored in a cloud and used within design and construction software to enhance construction processes within the virtual project delivery approach. The firm added the technology would be particularly helpful to survey difficult and inaccessible terrain and track real-time construction progress, for better project harmony, safety and construction planning.
“The use of UASs is crucial to continued innovation in engineering and construction,” Bechtel manager of construction Mike Lewis said.
“We teamed with SkyCatch to explore innovative ways of integrating drones into our execution systems, particularly on the megaprojects Bechtel is building around the world.
“This technology helps improve safety and quality of project delivery by providing real-time data and analysis to project teams so they can act in a timely manner.”