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Firefly Inspect- Drones Filming Drones

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MultiAcT successfully trials AI empowered drone that inspects wind turbines and aircraft with its infrared vision.

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HT was asked to create a video that demonstrated the capabilities of this project. We filmed the trials carried out at ORE Catapult in Blyth. Combining ground cameras, screen-recorded footage and our own drone, we were able to capture the action.

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What is MultiAcT?

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This is a collaborative project between Innvotek and Mapair. A drone (Firefly Inspect) is fitted with infrared technologies and artificial intelligence to inspect composite structures. These are things such as wind turbine blades and aircraft wings.

The ‘fireflies’ use a technique called active thermography. This involves attaching a 1,000W heat lamp to a drone, which then hovers above a structure and carries out an inspection, shining light as it goes. This is a world first!

You can read more about the MultiAcT project here.

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HT Media’s Role

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The key to making this video interesting was capturing a variety of shots of the Firefly Inspect in action. Seeing the drones power up, take off and hover around the blade, and the heat lamps lighting up, all help to keep the audience engaged.

To get the variety we needed, we used both ground and aerial cameras.

Our fs5 camera gave us a sense of perspective. It looks up at the firefly, showing the heights it reaches as it inspects. It also has slow-motion capabilities. Using this function on the spinning blades added extra value to some shots.

Dan piloted our DJI Phantom 4 Pro, carefully navigating the airspace around the facility. This allowed us to present an alternate angle of the firefly working, on its level or even above. We could also use it to give the viewer a first-person perspective of what the firefly would see on the blade.

As the Firefly Inspect searches for defects not visible to the naked eye, showing this element of the trial would require more thought. We were able to get screen recorded footage of the images taken by the Firefly which show the damaged blade. When combined with our drone footage, it makes clear how effective the system is.

The final outcome made for a very interesting, informative and engaging video. Content like this can help peoples understanding of complex designs, products and services. We think this film did just that. See what you think, and check out the video below!

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Need our help with a project?

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