How to Use Flyability ELIOS 3 for Internal Mapping & Inspection

The Flyability ELIOS 3‘s capacity to map tight places in three dimensions is transforming the inspector’s work process; the following examples illustrate real-world applications.

Last updated on

November 8, 2022


The Flyability ELIOS 3‘s capacity to map tight places in three dimensions is transforming the inspector’s work process; the following examples illustrate real-world applications.

One of the most significant improvements between the ELIOS 2 and ELIOS 3 is the addition of a LiDAR sensor, which enables the generation of 3D maps.

As the drone flies across an asset, the LiDAR data collected by the ELIOS 3 builds a 3D Live Map in real time, as depicted in the image below. Using software from Flyability’s partner GeoSLAM, this data can be utilised to produce survey-grade 3D models following the flight.


Inspectors from all over the world are beginning to roll out the ELIOS 3 into their operations and are experiencing massive advancements in the insights that they are capturing.

3D maps allow inspectors to:

  • Visualise the specific location of asset faults.
  • Fly in settings so dusty that the visual feed of the drone is obscured.
  • Create stockpile measurements in a quicker, less expensive, and safer manner.
  • Ensure complete inspection coverage while investigating the interior of homogeneous environments such as tanks and boilers.

We are, however, aware that not all inspectors are aware of the massive benefits that are achievable using the 3D mapping.

In this blog you’ll find 6 real-world use cases for confined space 3D mapping using the ELIOS 3.

1. Decommissioning Old Power Plants

Industry: Power Generation

Personnel at a decommissioned power plant operated by Vattenfall used the Elios 3 to construct 3D models inside a “no go” zone, thereby enhancing their understanding of hazardous locations.

The Elios 3 was able to build accurate 3D maps of the decommissioned factory, both in real time and after the flight, utilising LiDAR data processed with 3D modelling software from GeoSLAM and LiDAR data collected while the drone was in flight.

2. Locating the Cause of an Ore Pass Hang-up

Industry: Mining

A large-scale mining operation used the ELIOS 3 to determine the reason for a blockage in an ore pass in less than ten minutes, enabling the team to determine its exact location and display the blockage on a 3D map.

Two months were spent drilling exploratory holes ranging from 12 to 21 metres (40 to 70 feet) in order to figure out the position and nature of the obstruction. Eventually, they gave up when production in that region of the mine ceased. Later,  Flyability pilots came and were able to locate the clog and capture crucial data using 3D mapping from the ELIOS 3 to assist with attempts to clear it.

3. Enhancing Stockpile Measurement Efficiency at Cement Plant Silo

Industry: Cement

A large cement plant in France utilised ELIOS 3 LiDAR data for clinker inventory stockpile measurements, making the process safer and more precise.

Plant operators were able to establish an accurate stockpile measurement for the clinker in about 30 minutes (10 minutes for data collection and 20 minutes for post-processing using GeoSLAM Connect).

The ELIOS 3’s camera was nearly blinded by the silo’s dust, but the drone’s 3D Live Map enabled it to fly and capture the necessary data for the stockpile calculation.

4. Mapping Unknown/Derelict Mines

Industry: Mining

The division of Mines, Mining, and Quarries in Luxembourg utilised the ELIOS 3 to create a 3D map of an old slate quarry being converted into a museum.

The division needed 3D maps to map the mine in order to comprehend its whole structure and make safety assessments before admitting anyone inside. With a handheld LiDAR scanner, it was difficult to collect the necessary data for the 3D maps, and aerial photogrammetry would have slowed down and complicated the procedure.

The LiDAR sensor on the ELIOS 3 enabled Luxembourg officials to create 3D maps of the mine’s chambers swiftly and effectively.

5. Planning, Monitoring Changes, and Geolocating Water Tank and Wastewater Infrastructure Defects

Industry: Water/Wastewater Infrastructure

Lausanne’s Water Department used the ELIOS 3‘s LiDAR data to produce exact 3D maps of its assets over the course of several months, enabling them to plan, track changes over time, and execute other crucial maintenance activities.

The 3D maps of the ELIOS 3 contain the precise geolocations of problems discovered during inspections, allowing inspectors to return for future monitoring. The Elios 3 was able to collect such high quality visual and LiDAR data for 3D mapping that it eliminated the requirement for inspectors to enter limited locations to obtain inspection data while exposing themselves to risk.

6. Improving Stockpile Measurement Safety and Accuracy at a Salt Mine

Industry: Mining

LiDAR data from the ELIOS 3 assisted German mining engineers in calculating stockpile measures, making the procedure safer and more precise.

Manually calculating volumes required surveyors to ascend the salt cones, which presented risks associated with working at height. The Elios 3 eliminated the need for surveyors to climb to collect data, allowing them to remain safely on the ground while collecting all the necessary data.

In addition to speeding up the process, the Elios 3 developed 3D models that enable more precision for stockpile calculations than manual approaches.

Find out more

We’re incredibly excited about the Flyability ELIOS 3 and the progress it’s enabling businesses to make toward safer, faster, more cost-effective, and more efficient operations.

If you would like more information on the ELIOS 3, please get in touch.

We have a team of specialists available to assist you regardless of where you are in your drone adoption journey.

Simply complete the form below, and a member of our dedicated team will contact you as soon as possible.

We forward speaking with you soon.

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