Air Monitoring project – enhanced pipeline monitoring
AIR MARINE is one of the few aerial operators in France certified to monitor the underground pipeline network. Their observers, flying small twin engines TECNAM aircraft, are looking for potential cause of aggression close to the pipe, like an excavator working nearby. Their missions are essential for the integrity and the safety of the network. AIR MARINE has developed a full operational process to alert the customer so he can launch a ground intervention after he receives a comprehensive surveillance reports or a warning call if the threat is imminent. Building up on experience, the company's processes are constantly evolving. AIR MARINE developed an innovative and cost effective system to monitor pipelines using pictures rather than direct surveillance. It is composed of a planning software to follow the pipeline, on board monitoring and detection equipment and ground post-flight control devices. A customer report interface displays the final report. The system ensures a complete traceability. The database acquired from previous flights can be compared to the pictures taken in real time. It improves efficiency and security. Aircrafts and crew are less stressed. The long term objective is to feed algorithms that will be able to detect potential threats automatically. AIR MARINE was also awarded the first ever drone-based gas pipeline commercial surveillance program from GRTgaz, a European leading natural gas transmission company. This paper will focus mainly on pictures pipeline monitoring that AIR MARINE developed using experience form traditional direct surveillance.