Power Generation

Cyberhawk was asked by a major operator in Australia to conduct an internal and external visual and thermal inspection of a chimney stack at its nickel production plant. This project was the world’s first combined internal and external inspection of a stack using UAVs and the highest stack that has ever been inspected internally using a drone at approximately 426ft (130m), with the previous record being 400ft (100m) in Europe.

The inspection, which was completed in late 2016, was needed to identify any remedial works required to the stack during a scheduled outage in 2017. Analysis of Cyberhawk’s detailed inspection report, meant any actions required could be addressed during the shutdown which would allow the stack to continue operating safety to 2038.

The internal inspection and Cyberhawk’s inspection report uncovered a number of significant anomalies that were previously unidentified. Utilising Cyberhawk’s internal and external UAVs meant our engineers were able to assess the complete condition of the asset and resulted in the project being successfully completed.


Cyberhawk’s reputation of successfully inspecting confined spaces at industrial sites, along with our highly skilled pilots and engineers, saw the team emerge as the preferred provider for this challenging work scope. This inspection technique was also favored as it meant minimal risk to personnel, versus the working at height issues associated with conventional inspection and access techniques such as rope access or gantry basket.

The inspection methodology had also limited impact on plant production as the stack could be inspected by UAV by only shutting the bypassed dampers, which significantly reduced, but didn’t eliminate throughput of flue gas to the stack. For a manned entry to the stack to be undertaken a total plant/production outage would have been required to fully isolate the stack.