Photogrammetry and thermal survey of trunk mains

Driving down system leaks

What was needed?

The client had set continuous improvement goals across its network and was aiming to drive down costs associated with losses from their systems via leaks. Part of this project required the use of aerial thermal imaging surveys to detect subsurface water leaks.

Utility Services Photogrammetry Thermal Surveys Aerial Photography Topographical Surveys

What did we do?

Having developed the methodology previously with another utility company, we were in prime position to demonstrate the effectiveness of this technology on the 300km of pipeline designated for the trial. The client requested that scalable orthophotos be delivered to visually check for damages, encroachment and unlicensed line breaks.

We used all-terrain vehicles kitted out as mobile offices and servicing facilities to reduce downtime for the client. Using the Texo DSI 5m safety case allowed us to fully survey the area with minimal disturbance to stakeholders and local residents. The system captured both RGB and radiometric data with an workflow designed to maximise data capture efficiencies.

During the project, our ground survey team proceeded ahead of the aerial team to establish ground control points and checkpoints for the later data quality assurance and processing.

The Results

We carried out over 1200km of recorded flight, ensuring sufficient coverage was obtained of the network. Overall the project captured around 22,000 radiometric images that required processing and individual analysis to identify leaks as well as 22,000 RGB images to be processed through into area orthomosaics along with several hundred ground control points and check points within the project.

The project managed to identify several key areas for further investigation and aided in the client’s overall goal of minimising leaks across their network.

The visual component allowed our client to accurately identify features to within 40mm and aided in their visual inspection of stations and ground-level infrastructure.

All data was uploaded to the Texzone portal to give access to all reporting functionality.


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