Aerial Visual Inspections

Aerial Visual Inspections

There are hundreds of miles of oil pipelines stretched across the Continental United States alone. The unmanned aircraft systems that we intend to operate have the anticipated capability to scan these pipelines for up to 4 hours. Our unmanned system is being developed to save oil companies thousands of man-hours patrolling these pipelines and significant monetary expenditures being able to detect these leaks sooner rather than later. A study in August 2013 by the American Petroleum Institute (API) shows how “UAS may ultimately be able to accomplish both of these monitoring tasks more effectively than humans… The primary reason for those monitoring for any kind of intrusion, whether it’s individuals that are potentially protesting or for construction equipment, is really to find out if there’s anyone doing anything on the right of way that might be harmful for the pipeline.”

Economical Benefits of Using UAVs:

  • Considerably reduce probability of major accident associated with transport of hazardous materials
  • Reduce the economical risk of communities, regions or nations to be impacted by accidental consequences
  • Will reduce the risks of major oil leaks through early detection of ground changes
  • Due to the unique flight characteristics of UAVs, the imagery is sharper and offers unique advantages. Drones fly very low compared to manned aircraft—400 feet is a typical altitude. This means that the camera captures high ground resolution. In addition, because there is a large amount of overlap in the imagery, digital photogrammetric processing results in 3D point clouds. Turnaround time is a few hours, instead of days, weeks, or months in the case of traditional delivery times.
  • The tangible benefits of using UAVs to patrol pipelines are immense, especially when contemplating the ability to increase the number of patrol inspections currently being done from a week to daily.