Most district heating systems we inspect were installed decades ago and are poorly documented in current facility blueprints. We often find that our clients know they have issues somewhere in their system because they’re losing heat or water, but they are having a hard time finding the location of the failure because the lines are often buried 6 to 10 feet underground.

A single district heating system failure can result in tens of thousands of dollars a year in energy losses and reduced plant efficiency, as well as increased emissions. Despite the economic and environmental costs of a leak, digging up lines to look for a failure point is extremely cost prohibitive. Through our proactive and systematic approach, we can detect the presence of hidden issues affecting district heating systems much more quickly and effectively than traditional inspection methods.


EagleHawk’s expert team of FAA certified drone pilots and data analysts use drone technology to safely and efficiently inspect large installations of steam, high-temperature hot water, and condensate lines, above and below ground level. We utilize professional drones equipped with sensors, like cutting-edge thermal cameras, that can discover hidden problem areas in your district heating systems that are not apparent to the naked eye.

We leverage proprietary algorithms and processes developed over dozens of miles of district heating system lines to analyze thermal imagery and accurately detect system failures. We can inspect sprawling and complex systems quickly, effectively and affordably to help facility managers identify the location and scale of existing issues and save money through more efficient maintenance and capital planning expenditures.


EagleHawk will work closely with your team to compile all the necessary background and logistical information to plan the data collection flights. This mission planning process involves close coordination with your organization’s safety and policy compliance departments to ensure that the proper procedures and communication plans are followed. EagleHawk will take the necessary steps to ensure that the proper FAA flight clearances are obtained in advance and, if applicable, will coordinate with your onsite team and local flight control authorities throughout the data collection process.

On the day of the data collection flights, EagleHawk’s team of expert pilots will arrive at your facilities with all the equipment and tools necessary to inspect your entire district heating system in a timely and efficient manner. Using professional drones and sensor equipment, the team will capture live video and still images of your utilities.

Once all the necessary data has been collected, our team of expert analysts will evaluate the images and supporting data to detect probable points of failure within the system. The inspection results will be compiled into a comprehensive final report that is easy to read and navigate with an interactive dashboard that includes:

  • the condition of each line

  • recommendations for follow-up maintenance

  • the approximate location and severity of any areas of concern

  • an informative picture-in-picture video of the mapped lines, including visual and thermal data


Frank Perry, Utilities Project Manager at Cornell University, had been wanting to use drones for facility inspection needs for years but couldn’t find a reliable resource to perform the task – until he met the EagleHawk team. Frank’s facilities group had been using a helicopter to inspect the university’s district heating system but says that method wasn’t as accurate, cost-effective or safe as the drone-enabled method EagleHawk has developed.

Frank says the decision to use EagleHawk was a “no brainer”, especially after the first inspection report found leaks and issues that the helicopter inspections had missed.

“One leak can be very expensive and result in a huge loss of energy over time,” Frank says. “EagleHawk’s data is easy to comprehend, more accurate, and offers a great user experience.”

Frank says his boss has been very happy with the outcome and one of the best parts of working with EagleHawk has been the people.

“They have a team player mentality, just like us. You do business with people, not companies, and EagleHawk is made up of people who are on the edge of technology and offer useful services and solutions for their clients.”