Raptor Maps – Solar software company publishes best practices to reduce risk and increase production and IRR.


Raptor Maps released an industry-first manual for solar PV inspections with manned aircraft.  The manual supplements best practices and training materials that the company has previously published for drones.  It draws heavily from Raptor Maps’ 50 GW of PV system analytics experience, firsthand testing on utility-scale and C&I PV systems and its founding team of MIT aerospace engineers.


The detailed manual features step-by-step information for how to collect reliable PV system health data with airplanes and helicopters.  It is useful to solar asset owners and managers, O&M, engineers, EPCs and financiers, as well as to pilots and other aviation professionals seeking new revenue sources in the fastest-growing energy sector.


“Solar asset owners and operators have a right to specify the quality of work that is done on their behalf,” says Nikhil Vadhavkar, Raptor Maps’ co-founder and CEO.  “The industry is moving away from the ‘check the box’ mentality, and stakeholders are demanding unfiltered, original data to ensure compliance and avoid money being left on the table.  By making our drone and manned aircraft manuals available to the public, we reaffirm our commitment to transparency and enable anyone to be an aerial inspection expert.”


Among the insights are considerations for when to use manned aircraft, flight planning, equipment mounting and operation, specific cameras, lens configurations and aircraft makes and models that are used in the solar industry.


The publication comes on the heels of the company’s recent launch of Raptor Records, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that uses a digital twin to optimize record-keeping during PV system construction and operation.  As part of its initiative to empower owners and operators, the company allows SaaS customers to quantify PV system degradation over time using historical aerial inspection data from any vendor.


Download the Guide to PV Inspection via Manned Aircraft for free here.