Broadcast Tower Inspection

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  • 4 weeks later...

I work for a broadcaster, under contract, and I've wanted to do an inspection of their tower just for fun and experience.  They won't allow it, because there's a microwave transmitter on the tower.  It is claimed that antenna will fry all the electronics in my P4 drone.  As yet I'm unable to verify if this is true or not.


But yes, I have this question, also.  What are the current market prices of doing industrial and construction drone inspections?

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There’s been a lot of discussion about websites popping up that offer to broker work between the owners of drones and cell towers.  The opinion of people who’ve actually tried this is that it’s a total scam.  You might check out the threads on this and other forums.

I have never used that kind of service not have I scanned a broadcast tower but have scanned cell towers for American Tower and Crown Castle.  A lot of drone operators don’t know the difference between inspecting a tower and surveying a tower and seem to think that all you have to do is fly a drone around the tower and point a camera at it.  Cell towers can be very complicated, extremely dangerous and the owners generally require a very detailed report.  

None of which Should be attempted  with a Phantom or by anyone who has to ask what happens to a drone that flys in front of a microwave antenna.  There are a whole host of risks associated with flying a drone around a tower, from the tower owners perspective frying the electronics on your drone really isn’t high on their list.  

Not saying that it couldn’t, but that has not happened to us. We have had it interfere with the control of the drone but we have multiple ways that we communicate with the drone and have never had it interfere with all of them at the same time.

Doing this type of work is very difficult, especially on a tower that is 1500’ tall!  It is next to impossible to fly the drone by hand.  Depending on the equipment, not just microwave, there’s a good chance your video downlink will be interrupted.  Even if you had the nerve to dumb thumb it what are you going to do when video drops out and your looking straight up, totally disoriented and only feet away from the tower?  


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Thank you so much for your candor and I can assure you this is not a scam, ask the forum owner Alan if he is familiar with Helo Perspective.  Also, thank you for your experience and your knowledge as this industry needs that more and more.  

Broadcast towers are indeed different then typical cell towers and introduce some very challenging components.  We are working through that now to understand it better and hope that we can get enough feedback from professionals such as your self to make this another service that we provide to our customers

I would very much like to discuss this with you on the phone if your open to it and then possibly discuss you becoming part of our network.

Thank you again for your words

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Sorry @Helo, I did not intend to imply that what your off to do is a scam.  Only pointed out other people’s experiences with services that might be considered scams and that this sort of work requires real application engineering that your not likely to get in off the shelf drones.  

Also, your fast, I was re-editing my post when you replied.  I’m certainly open to discussing this on the phone.  PM a number and time I can call you.  What time zone are you in?  

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@Av8Chuck no worries sir.  Unfortunately I get quite a bit of feedback from pilots that question the validity of our project and/or company. 

I am in central time and will have some time tomorrow afternoon after about 3:30 Central.  I'll send you the contact number.


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