Inspection of above-ground hydrocarbons and chemicals storage tank

TAU AG, an asset manager in charge of a tank farm in Muttenz Switzerland for the BP and Avia oil companies, required the internal inspection of above-ground hydrocarbons and other chemicals storage tanks. Elios, the world’s first collision-tolerant UAV, provided them with a safer, faster inspection method and a greater quality of data than they had ever been able to gather using rope access, scaffolding, or visual inspection from the ground with binoculars.



Every 3 – 15 years, depending on the substance they have contained, TAU AG performs a thorough inspection of each storage tank. After having been properly cleaned, a tank is inspected following a procedure which includes the visual inspection of fire protection piping, overfill protection, gaging system, roof pre-determined points as well as a general visual inspection of the roof. At 25 meters above ground, in pitch-dark conditions, these inspections require working at height and implies having humans entering the inner confined space of tanks. Usual methods such as scaffolding or rope access are costly and time-consuming.  With these aspects in mind, TAU AG requested the intervention of Flyability and Elios for the inspection a 25m tall, 18m diameter fixed-roof storage tanks.


Between five and ten flights with Elios, each flight taking about ten minutes, were necessary to complete the inspection of a single tank. The tanks being cleaned and degassed, the pilots decided to enter the tanks to fly the drone, however, inspections could have been performed entirely from the outside of the structure. The fact that Elios is collision-tolerant allowed it to navigate safely, directly in contact with the walls of the tanks when required. Thanks to its powerful onboard LEDs, the inspection of the tanks with Elios did not require the installation of any additional lighting source.


All structures of interest were inspected in less than two hours after deployment. The visual gathered with Elios proved the fire protection piping to be in excellent condition, the welds and overall roof corrosion conditions were satisfactory. With over 100 tanks to look after in the tank farm they manage, TAU AG is now in a position to increase the quality and level of documentation of the data generated during inspections. Most importantly, the company keeps its workers out of harm’s way and has lowered the cost imputed to inspections.


Oil & Gas

PERTAMINA, the national energy company of Indonesia, hired Halo Robotics to overhaul a huge oil storage tank. The Elios 2 was used for the tank […]


Marine Inspection Services, Ltd helped an oil tanker manager realize $2 million in savings by using the Elios 2 for a cargo tank inspection during a […]

Food & Beverage

One of the largest agricultural businesses in the world tested the Elios 2 for the visual inspection of its grain bins and found that the drone could […]

infrastructure & utilities Mining

A company that recycles industrial waste tested the Elios 2 for indoor stockpile volumetry and found that the 3D maps it helped produce were accurate to […]

Power Generation

Pampa Energía, the largest independent energy company in Argentina, invested in the Elios 2 after saving $420,000 in its first test of the Elios 1 for […]

Oil & Gas

Using the Elios 2 for an FCC unit inspection allowed Oil and Gas refining company Tüpraş to avoid sending an inspector into the confined space inside a […]

Power Generation infrastructure & utilities

DTEK, an energy company based in Ukraine, recently tested the use of the Elios 2 for a chimney inspection and a boiler inspection at one of their power […]


Timing is everything during inspections at Yara's fertilizer plant in Ambès, France. Yara personnel wanted to test the Elios 2 to see if it could help […]

Power Generation infrastructure & utilities

Valmet, a top provider of industrial technologies and services for the pulp, paper, and energy industries, used Flyability’s Elios drone to inspect a […]

Power Generation infrastructure & utilities Chemicals Maritime Oil & Gas

RoNik Inspectioneering wanted to thoroughly test Flyability's new drone, the Elios 2, to see what it could do to support indoor inspections. RoNik […]


The use of drones in the mining industry is quite popular for mapping open pits but when it comes to exploring underground, flying drones is a true […]

infrastructure & utilities

West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Canada is not only the largest shopping center in North America, it also contains the largest indoor waterpark in North […]

Public Safety

A severe fire broke out at the Liverpool Echo Arena Multi Story Car Park on 31st December 2017. Once the fire was under control and extinguished, public […]

Public Safety infrastructure & utilities

With increasing international exchanges, we can see more and more fairs and exhibitions popping up around the world. How to quickly and efficiently check […]


Every ship on the ocean needs a class survey to travel – and that means frequent inspections. It’s a big job, and one that requires significant time and […]

Power Generation

Elios was used to complete the inspection of a gas turbine stack at a major energy facility – saving thousands of euros and days of time.


Elios was used to complete the inspection of a damaged section of sewer infrastructure in Barcelona, Spain.

Food & Beverage

Elios was used to complete a complex indoor ceiling inspection over the factory floor in the Pilsner Urquell brewery, in less than half the time of […]


Elios is used for mine facility and equipment inspections in Copper mines of Northern Chile, flying in the dangerous and confined areas around mining […]

infrastructure & utilities

Elios is used for bridge inspections in Minnesota, USA, navigating the difficult to reach spaces under bridges between beams and inside of box girders. […]