Unmanned Systems/Drones

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)/Drone Inspection Services

Prior to conducting more advanced non-destructive testing (NDT) inspections, MISTRAS utilizes drones to pre-qualify the inspection and maintenance plan. These tools are especially useful in at-height or confined-space locations, as a way to limit the costs and safety hazards associated with accessing these locations.

Rather than using drones as the primary tool in our inspection toolbox, we offer UAV/drone inspections as supplementary to the more advanced inspections conducted by our trained technicians. Using real-time video and image feeds and various NDT inspection sensors, they can pinpoint potential areas of concern for inspectors to focus on.

MISTRAS’ drone inspections have applications for at-height, confined spaces, and subsea assets.


  • Increased safety
  • Reduced downtime, inspection time, and cost
  • Assets remain in-service
  • Capable of accessing difficult or unreachable locations
  • Enhanced preparation for planned turnarounds and shutdowns
man controlling drone to perform an inspection

Aerial Drone Inspection Services

Highly-trained and certified pilots are capable of safely flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into at-height and confined locations, before exposing technicians to potentially hazard locations. MISTRAS’ aerial drone inspections can be equipped with ultrasonic (UT) and infrared sensors, along with high-resolution video and still cameras.

Our aerial drones require only two or three MISTRAS employees to conduct thorough preliminary inspections: a licensed pilot who flies the UAV, an operator who controls the drone’s camera and sensors, and an inspector to view and analyze the video and images the drone is supplying. The small team minimizes downtime, as our drone inspection teams mobilize quickly and there’s no extra time needed to construct scaffolding to access the asset.

Drones are capable of a variety of inspection, mapping, and surveying locations. We have successfully performed operations in refineries and petrochemical plants for storage tank, piping, vessel, and flare stack in-service inspections.

Drones are quick, cost-effective options for pipeline run-of-ways, and through the use of infrared imaging, as pipeline emergency response solutions to discover potential “hot spots” that would indicate an underground leak.

MISTRAS’ drone NDT inspections also have applications for bridges, commercial buildings, power lines, and other energy and civil infrastructure.


  • Bridge Inspections
  • Flare Stack Inspections
  • Pipeline Run-of-Ways & Emergency Response
  • Piping Inspections
  • Storage Tank Inspections
  • Tank Farm Mapping & Surveying
  • Turnaround/Shutdown Planning
  • Vessel Inspections

Land Drone Inspections Services

Our land robotics are equipped with NDT tools for a wide range of equipment inspections. The crawlers are configured for confined space entry (CSE), particularly useful for boilers, pressure vessels, and storage tanks where entering confined spaces can be a safety hazard.

MISTRAS’ land drone inspections are also effective for in-service piping and pipeline inspections, allowing product to continue flowing through the lines while still gathering ultrasonic and other NDT inspection data.

MISTRAS utilizes adaptable robotic inspection designs for each individual project, from fast-paced robotics for larger structures to smaller, pint-sized ones for confined spaces. They can also be equipped with gripper arms to remove debris lost in piping.


  • Pipeline Inspections
  • Piping Inspections
  • Storage Tank Inspections
  • Turnaround/Shutdown Planning
  • Vessel Inspections

Subsea Drone Inspections Services

Underwater remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) are safe alternatives to manned inspections in subsea environments. MISTRAS uses underwater drone inspections to perform exploratory structure assessments before sending diving technicians into the water for more advanced inspection and maintenance.

ROVs are equipped with lighting, arms, high-resolution video/still cameras, and NDT inspection and sonar sensors. These tools are used for preliminary indications of cracking, pitting, and corrosion on various submerged structures, including shipping channels, lanes, terminals, docks, and ports.


  • Conduit Inspections
  • Dam Inspections
  • Dock Inspections
  • Reservoir Inspections
  • Ship Inspections
  • Sunken Structure Assessments
  • Terminal Inspections
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