Issue 54 Uncrewed Sytems Technology Feb/Mar 2024 uWare uOne UUV l Radio and telemetry l Rheinmetall Canada medevacs l UUVs insight DelltaHawk engine l IMU focus l Skygauge in operation l CES 2024 report l Blueflite l Hypersonic flight

94 This publication has featured many ways in which infra-red (IR) cameras, Lidars and other contactless sensors can be used to great effect by UAVs and UGVs to inspect industrial buildings. But many countries have regulations requiring ultrasonic inspections of highrise metal structures at routine intervals, and ultrasonic sensors or gauges must make physical contact with an object to reveal its thickness and integrity. The normal approach to such ultrasonic inspections is much like that for other contact work on industrial structures at height, such as painting or welding: either scaffolding is erected for workers to climb up, or a rope access system or cranes can be used by them to tether their way to the high-up job site. All three of these methods for getting a human onto an industrial structure at height are expensive, time-consuming and dangerous. Naturally, substituting uncrewed systems for people in dull, dirty or dangerous work is a familiar and successful idea to us, but getting a UAV to precisely hold an ultrasonic tool against a vertical wall is extremely challenging, whether it’s autonomous or remotely piloted – given that a multirotor must pitch down to move forwards, level out to hold position, and avoid its rotors making any physical contact with any solid object to prevent its self-destruction. Skygauge Robotics’ answer to this challenge is a UAV (eponymously named) designed with four coaxial rotors, which can articulate independently from one another, and a combination of sensors and autonomous behaviours to control them. Together, these keep the airframe steady during hover, and compensate for the sudden inertia changes caused by initiating physical contact with standing structures, as well as for wind or gusts that could break that contact while the UAV carries out its work. Skygauge Robotics CEO Maksym Korol says: “Aerial ultrasonic testing has been our first commercial application with our UAV, because it’s a huge and established Rory Jackson looks at a UAV designed for taking on the risk to humans working at height Inspection gadgets February/March 2024 | Uncrewed Systems Technology The Skygauge UAV’s rotors articulate independently from each other to keep the body stable against winds and bumps for physical work (Images courtesy of Skygauge Robotics)