Frequently Asked Questions – Technology & Processes

Here you will find answers to the most common and frequently asked questions concerning our system and procedures based on airborne quality assurance.

We are also happy to answer any questions you may have by phone.

General Information

What does UAV or UAS stand for?

UAV or UAS is the abbreviation for ‘unmanned aerial vehicle’ respectively ‘unmanned aerial system’. Terms such as RPA or RPAS for ‘remotely piloted aircraft’ or ‘remotely piloted aircraft system’ are also often used in GB. But in general it is very common to use the term ‘drone’.

What training does the pilot need?

In Austria since 2014, now since October 2017 also in Germany it’s a requirement – dependent on the weight class – to take a theoretical (and practical) exam at the Aviation Authority, or with the accredited training enterprises in the respective federal states.

Which geographical regions are covered by Aero Enterprise?

Depending on the coherent orders and the appropriate combination, our service radius is in a range of approximately 1,000 km (~ 620 miles) measured from our main company location in Linz, Austria. Aero Enterprise has meanwhile been on the road for its customers far north to Sweden till down to the far southeast at the Black Sea.

Is the AERO-SensorCopter allowed to fly in urban areas or traffic-intensive areas?

The AERO-SensorCopter was certified in category “C” in accordance with the Austrian national regulations applicable until the end of 2020.
This approval is still valid for a transitional period until mid-2020 and allows flights in Austria with a direct line of sight in populated areas with a maximum take-off weight of 25kg.
Special permits must be obtained for flights over densely populated areas (pedestrian zone, city center), near airports (control zones) and over 150m altitude.
New EU drone regulations have come into force since 2021, they apply throughout the EU and are a standardization of the legislation.
The AERO-SensorCopter is currently operated in the “Open A3” category.
In this category, a distance of 150m to residential, commercial, industrial or recreational areas must be maintained. No uninvolved persons are allowed to be in the immediate flight area.
The maximum flight altitude is limited to 120m, this may be exceeded within a radius of 50m around artificial obstacles up to a maximum of 15m above the obstacle with the consent of the responsible body (owner, operator).
A “Specific Approval” is required to operate the AERO-SensorCopter in residential, commercial, industrial or recreational areas.
Depending on the application scenario, a corresponding application with a risk analysis must be submitted to the aviation authority. The scenario with risk analysis can already be available as a so-called “standard scenario” at the aviation authority or must be created explicitly for this use.
Special permits must be requested for use in traffic – intensive or heavily used roads (federal roads, motorways etc.) and over human masses (for example, stadium or pedestrian zone).
The AERO-SensorCopter also has an aviation approval for the UK and can also be used there.

What is the maximum allowable altitude for the AERO-SensorCopter?

The rules concerning the allowable flight altitudes are partially very different from country to country. In most cases, heights above 120 m/ 395 ft  need to be approved by the respective Aviation Authority.

Due to the fact that the AERO-SensorCopter has a large rotor-system and generally an electrical engine is not losing power in comparison to a combustion engine when gaining altitude, with slight modifications the SensorCopter can easily be used in altitudes up to 4000 m/13123 ft.

What is the range of the AERO-SensorCopter?

Due to aviation regulations, the operation of the SensorCopter is limited to the visible line of sight, i.e. within the ‘line of sight’ (LOS). The AERO-SensorCopter currently has a flight time of at least 30 minutes. However, depending on the prevailing wind conditions on site, flight times of more than 35 minutes have already been achieved.

What is the price for the AERO-SensorCopter?

Our in-house development is priceless of course.

Currently it is not intended to offer the helicopter for sale to third parties.

What is the speed of the AERO-SensorCopter?

Although the AERO-SensorCopter could fly much faster, by certification the speed is limited to 120 km/h (65 knots). In practice, however, only speeds of up to 60 km/h (33 knots) are usually flown.

Up to which wind speeds we carry out our airborne inspections?

With the experience gained so far, we can carry out our automatic flights at wind speeds up to 50 km/h, (14 m/s, with gusts +/- 2 m/s) directly on the object.

Is the AERO-SensorCopter also used offshore?

Definitely! Since spring 2019 the AERO-SensorCopter operates offshore. In our media gallery you will find an offshore video.

Technology / Processes

What types of damage can be detected with the system of Aero Enterprise?

The manual inspection of a wind turbine by industrial climbers usually takes place twice. The first time, the damage is detected and the second time the damage is repaired.

The aim of an aerial inspection is to keep the downtimes of wind-turbines as short as possible and perform the detection of the damage digitally. Now you can classify the damage ‘from the desk’ itself as a customer and so there is only a need to commission an industrial climber once; to undertake the repair.

What types of damage can be detected with the system of Aero Enterprise?

The goal of Aero Enterprise is to save time and money to the customer while maintaining high-quality state data. The planning and implementation of inspections and repairs will be easier – and most importantly, the lives of people during the inspection is not compromised.

What do you get as a client if you order our service?

Depending on the wishes of the customer, we have several options to choose from:

  • Either the pure raw data records about the respective object for further processing by the customer, or
  • A data set and the license to use our AERO-View or AERO-Lyse for the evaluation and classification of the damages by the customer, or
  • A ready-to-use IS-Condition report prepared by Aero Enterprise with pre-indexed abnormalities, or finally
  • A report with recommendations for action drawn up in collaboration with an extra expert.

The AERO-Software Package also offers the possibility to compare old data stocks with conspicuous points from previous flights with new data (change detection).
The data sets can also be processed by us in such a way that they can be transferred to the respective interfaces of the customer-specific ERP systems within the scope of ‘Industry 4.0’.

How can data from a wind turbine, which was oriented to the east last year be compared with actual data, when the wind turbine is now aligned in a different direction?

What do we do if rotor blades A, B and C have a different position and direction during the new inspection compared to the previous inspection?

By means of a 3-D determination of the data within the AERO-Software Package, a standardized exact position in the room can be displayed, independent of the previous position (direction and rotation) of the system.

Can other objects be inspected than wind turbines?

YES, through our flexible combination of hardware and software, we are not bound to the inspection of wind turbines. We are able to investigate all industrial plants, buildings and other vertical structures, e.g. chimneys, power lines, dams, cooling towers, bridges, or even vertical rock formations.

Because the AERO-SensorCopter can hold its position in the air, even the most inaccessible terrain features such as quarries or narrow valleys can be inspected.

How many wind turbines are you able to inspect a day?

Based on our previous experience, we examine 4-6 wind turbines per day – dependent on the diameter, height of the WT, distances between the WT and general local circumstances including pre- and post processing time on site.

What do we mean by sustainable airborne quality assurance?

Sustainable for us means comprehensible. As part of a first technical history of an industrial object (e.g. a wind turbine), a technical ‘birth certificate’ is created. The data serves as the basis and comparative data for later measurements.

For what can our customers use the AERO-Software Package for?

With the free licence to AERO-View the customer receives a tool which allows access to evaluate the data and to assess damage.

With the fee-based licence to AERO-Lyse significant abnormalities can be quantified and qualified and IT-based state reports can be generated.

This damage logs remain comparable year on year in order to form the basis of a comprehensible, objective quality assurance throughout the entire life cycle of a plant.

What else can I see when using an infrared camera and does it work with all materials?

The parallel generated infrared data can provide an additional indication of the structure below the rotor blades outer shell. Essentially, thermal bridges and transitions are indicated by connection in the substructure (for example gluing, screwing etc.) with temperature differences.

As a result, not only good but also poor bonds/connections can be easily detected.

Apart from highly reflective surfaces such as water and glass, thermography can be used almost everywhere, with more or less meaning.

What costs arise for commissioning a flight at a wind turbine?

Our prices are graduated and dependent on the size, height and number of WT commissioned annually by the customer as well as on the scope of our services.

What happens to the collected image data?

The image data are stored on our server in a computer center in Austria or Germany, certified according to ISO / IEC 27001: 2013.
This means:

  • Twin hosting of the servers (transfer of mirror server in case of possible failures)
  • Protection by double UPS and diesel generators.

ISO / IEC 27001: 2013 is an international industry standard for securing the requirements for the creation, implementation and maintenance of ever-evolving information security management systems. The standard specifies requirements for the implementation of appropriate security mechanisms.

Who has access to the image data?

Only the administrator or the software developer at Aero Enterprise has access to the server.

The client-based licence AERO-View and AERO-Lyse allows each customer extra to download their specific data indirectly via parallel running VPN tunnels.

There is no direct access given to the server by the customer.

Is an insurance company able to view the data?

NO, by no means. The exchange of the generated data and the business relationship is only 1:1 and does not go to any third party.