Frank Perry has been Cornell University's Utilities Project Manager for decades. Part of his responsibilities includes managing and maintaining the university's district heating system. This utility provides heat and hot water to the entire campus and is crucial for the school to operate safely, efficiently and effectively, especially during the cold winter months experienced throughout Upstate New York. For years, Frank's team hired a consultant that used a helicopter service to perform aerial inspections of the system to look for any leaks or issues. While this method worked better than traditional ground-based inspection techniques, Frank felt it wasn't the most efficient way to inspect the steam system. Helicopter-based inspections required using loud equipment, flying low over a populated campus, and resulted in large data files that weren't always user friendly. As the drone industry began to emerge over the past decade, Frank became interested in utilizing drones and technology to improve their inspection approach, but had trouble finding a reliable, experienced, and affordable solution. Then in 2017, he met the EagleHawk team while they were on campus and was intrigued by their new and innovative drone-enabled inspection techniques.
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