How HEI is Using Drones to Solve Diverse Problems


Drone smoke testingAs drone technology improves, HEI is finding new ways to use drones to solve diverse problems for our clients. One of the most unique ways is our smoke testing project with the City of Minneapolis.

The City is using smoke testing to find any existing connections between the sanitary and storm sewer systems that need to be removed. To do this they pump smoke into the sewers then watch the rooftops for any smoke that’s exiting through pipes. But how can they find where the smoke is coming from? That’s where drones come in.Drone smoke testing in Minneapolis

By flying our drones above the rooftops in Minneapolis our team can find the smoke to determine where connections still exist. They then take pictures of where the smoke is, geotag the location, and make any necessary notes for the future disconnection. This saves time and money while making the job safer.

Dave Olson, one of HEI’s certified drone pilots from our Maple Grove office, has been flying the drone for this project and gave an update to the City on September 19. At the update, Dave gave a live feed from the drone to display what the current conditions were of a six-story building located in Northeast Minneapolis. The City is excited about all the ways drones have improved this project and are looking for more ways to utilize them on future projects.
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Visit our drone page to learn more on the value of drones and check out our YouTube channel to view our latest drone flights and projects. 

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