Drone and Thermographic Imaging Inspection Services






As tier 1 inspection one can rely on  “look, see” approach using a visual inspection at the ground level , and drone inspection at high elevation to perform condition assessment and determine the presence and likelihood of corrosion, mechanical damage and cracking on above ground structures, construction structures, roofs, plants, substations  and transmission & distribution  towers and poles. This approach van even detect fatigue cracking,  corrosion or the deeply embedded defects in the structure  that cannot be observed from ground. Our drone structural inspection process includes time-proven methods from the tower pole and construction  industry which at later stage (Tier II inspection  include NDT techniques,  thickness loss  and corrosion rate measurement  to predict remaining life and corrosion mitigation . Our Valmont pilot  staff skillfully identifies structures at risk of corrosion, estimates corrosion rates, makes corrosion life-expectancy determinations and establishes an accurate baseline that can be referenced when future inspections are conducted. Matergenics condition assessment team includes PhDs, registered professional engineers and NACE-certified inspectors from a variety of technical disciplines including mechanical engineering, paint inspection, chemistry, metallurgy and materials science. We also have a comprehensive array of laboratory and field testing equipment, all calibrated on a routine basis in accordance with both national and international standards.Matergenics customers benefit by receiving the latest skill-sets and technologies in drone on-site inspection, non-destructive examination (NDE), laboratory testing and engineering analysis which helps them identify potential problems and reduce the likelihood of catastrophic failures





Case Example:

The inspection of aging high elevation guy wires should be handled in a tiered approach. As the tier level increases, the time and complexity, and therefore the cost, of the inspection/testing increases.

Tier1 consists of an atmospheric corrosion risk assessment of the tower site. Several environmental factors would be determined to calculate the ISO 9223 classification,  the corrosion rate and remaining life based on corrosion models. An on-site inspection would consist of chloride and sulfate deposition measurements (dew collection and wet candle tests), and a general overview of the site including:

  • Time in service
  • Materials in use
  • Classification of the Environment per ISO: Weather and climate (time of wetness): Chloride and Sulfate deposition
  • Elevation
  • Flora

Tier1 will provide the type of environment and estimated corrosion rate of guy wire components.

Tier 2, a simple visual/high mag inspection, should be the next step. Due to the high elevation of guy wires, this inspection is accomplished using a drone as shown in the following picture.



To inspect guy-wire, we can fly closer and provide a 30X optical zoom to detect minute details (if needed). discoloration, corrosion, pitting, or cracking will be noted. A reliable technique for corrosion detection. This approach is being used for detection of corrosion an d fatigue cracks on Utility towers.

If the corrosion observed by the drone is deemed severe, further inspection is required. Tier 3 requires a specialized, electromagnetic apparatus . This apparatus scans the interior of the wire and can detect, cracks, and breaks within the wire. A winch and pulley system is required to move the test head up the guy wire, so temporary rigging on the tower is necessary. Very expensive process due to the complexity of this setup, a subcontractor would likely need to be hired. A similar system may also be utilized to perform routine maintenance such as oiling the guy wires.

Tier 1 inspection of elevated guy wires may require , only one day onsite. It is estimated that Tier 2  inspections of high elevation guy wires  will take about 5 hours per guy wire.

We provide a wide range of inspection services which may not listed below. If you’re looking for an inspection service not listed here, please give us a call for more information.

Pole/Tower Inspection






Level 2 Certified Thermographic Imaging Technician


Above are example photos that is closely related to cable inspection.  This particular photo was taken to inspect the integrity of a power line conductor, after a manned-aircraft collision.  The photo was taken at a distance of 8’ away, with no zoom.

In terms of flight of a guy-wire, we estimate that an 800’ wire can be flown in four-hours or less, with NDT VT inspection in a similar amount of time.  For inspection of the bottom-side of the guy wire, our M210 drone with the top mount camera is ideal and would optimize safe flight.

Depending upon the frequency emitted from the radio tower, we would be comfortable in flying a live tower.  Our flight control frequencies reside the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz ISM bands.  Should the situation require it, we can lock and operate onto a specific band to avoid interference.


Substation and transmission poles/towers-Matergenics Inc. will review and analyze the onsite photos and  data using their PhD-level in-house experts of the subject matter to provide a detailed report on conditions on a per pole basis in addition to the condition of the equipment and structures within the substation.  The final report will include documentation and analysis of :

  • Overheating in conductors: This usually happens at busbars, switches, and connections for different reasons including loose connection, formation of corrosion products at the joint, mechanical damages, or undersized conductor (design issue)
  • Leaking components: Detect leaks of sulfur hexafluoride gas (SF6) and oil from substation equipment
  • Failed insulators: Identify porcelain and polymer insulators failed due to cracking, chipping, etc.
  • Corroded areas on poles, load bearing members, fixtures and fasteners.
  • Degraded coatings and loss of galvanized thickness based on color of intermetallic layers
  • Degradation of concrete including; cracking, chipping, flaking, and corrosion of steel reinforcementsTo inspect guy-wire, we can fly closer and provide a 30X optical zoom to detect minute details (if needed).

The final deliverable to client will include the organization and storage of all raw images collected and provided on an external hard drive.

  1. The final report shall be provided in hard copy and also via a web based portal for which client will be granted access.
  2. The final report shall include a listing of each structure, images, pole type, type of damage identified, severity of damage via a ranking system and the latitude/longitude of each structure.

A Summary Report shall also be provided in a “dashboard” format to present to senior level management summarizing damages at each Project Site.

  1. The work performed under this SOW will not be considered complete unless a final report is submitted by Contractor and it is accepted by the client.
  2. Determine unacceptable risks and recommend engineering solutions

Corrosion of power utility structures is a primary cause of in-service equipment degradation. When a power transmission structure corrodes to the point where it starts experiencing structural corrosion and material loss, the risk mitigation practices cannot be effectively applied and the structure repair/replacement remains as the only viable option. [read more]


  • Drone Corrosion Inspection of Line and Substation Structures
  • Atmospheric Corrosion Inspection
  • Corrosion Risk Assessment
  • Remedial Recommendations
  • Photographic Documentation
  • NACE Certified Inspectors

Telecommunication towers are essential parts of wireless networks for businesses, navigation systems, defense systems, and social services such as police, firefighters, and ambulances. Structural integrity of telecommunication towers is the







key to ensure reliable communication; however, these structures are constantly under corrosion attack. In fact, underground corrosion is identified as one of the main causes for structural failures and collapses of telecom towers.


[read more]


  • Corrosion Inspection of Anchor Shaft and Tower Base
  • Atmospheric Corrosion Inspection
  • Laboratory Tests
  • Corrosion Risk Assessment
  • Remedial Recommendations
  • Photographic Documentation

NACE Certified Inspectors


Drone inspection of a light pole at a park exhibiting corrosion on load bering members in a HCA


Details of corroded member of communication tower


The Matergenics team has experience working in many diverse fields and with many different clients.  Some of our clients include Allegheny Energy, American Airlines and AC Dellovade, GE, IBM, NASA, Valmont, and TVA. We can draft a cost proposal  if you wish.

We are different!

Our drone inspection services, with specifically designed protocols for different scenarios, set us apart from the competition. We have a proud record of on time delivery of precise inspection results to our clients. MATERGENICS’ professional pilots collect the key data and work closely with the clients, keeping them informed of the inspection progress at all times. Our inspection reports and recommendation are based on factual data and analysis of professional engineers. We are able to manage large quantities of collected data to pinpoint critical issues. This is our goal to make MATERGENICS your trusted inspection partner of choice.

The Next Step… While Matergenics has the expertise and the technology to unravel even the most difficult high elevation inspections, your input is vital for a complete analysis. By filling out the service request form and giving us a description of the problem, you can be sure that all aspects of your problem will be considered. Please do not hesitate to call Dr. Zee at 412-952-9441 for corrosion risk assessment and inspection projects. We’ll send you a proposal for your work, including methods and costs. Solutions are just around the corner!