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New Partnership Offers Drone-Based Tower Inspections

JS Engineering and Shulins' Solutions team up, offer alternatives to in-person tower crews

JS Engineering has partnered with Shulins’ Solutions to offer drone-based temperature measurements and visual inspections at RF sites.

Traditionally, these services are performed by trained tower technicians who carefully climb a tower to inspect its physical elements and make repairs.

“While nothing can fully replace a physical inspection, sUAS inspections bring new technology and capabilities, allowing for inspections that can be made more frequently, less expensively and, in many cases, with more detail than a physical inspection — often finding problems not obvious from the ground,” said Shulins’ Solutions on its website.

Leading the charge on this offering are two broadcast and RF consultants: Paul Shulins, president at Shulins’ Solutions, and Jim Stenberg, owner of JS Engineering.

“We obtain the necessary clearances and arrive on site to completely profile your tower and its antennas and transmission lines with both visible and infrared cameras,” said Stenberg in a LinkedIn post. “The high-power zoom visual camera provides details that even a knowledgeable tower climber might miss.”

The infrared profile is then reviewed on site and areas of concern can be highlighted and further studied, said Stenberg.

“By viewing all the antennas/transmission lines on a particular tower, and by performing several tower studies on one trip, we can efficiently share the costs of the service amongst a number of owners, tenants and services,” he said.

An example of a drone-based inspection of a communications tower (Credit: Getty/James Cowan)

JS Engineering, based in Portland, Maine, was originally formed in 2005 to provide RF equipment field service and system testing to the broadcast industry. After a years-long hiatus, in which Stenberg worked for American Tower Corp., the company re-opened, offering its services to broadcast and wireless clients on a contract basis.

Shulins’ Solutions, based in Wickenburg, Arizona, provides monitor, control and protection solutions for transmission sites and broadcast antennas and sUAS drone-based tower inspections, among other broadcasting consulting services.

Click here for more information on the companies’ sUAS drone services.

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