Taking-off with UAVs: Just a hype or future key technology in pipeline integrity management
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Josef Alois Birchbauer
Josef Alois Birchbauer, Stefan Wakolbinger, Michael Hornacek, Claudia Windisch, Mike Liepe
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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been gaining immense attention in the last years for commercial applications as well as for private users. In this work we analyze the momentum of UAVs in the context of pipeline inspection. We briefly present general trends and existing regulations with respect to UAVs deemed to be relevant in the context of oil and gas transmission pipelines. Next we give an overview of potential UAV-based applications in pipeline integrity management including change detection, leak detection, and surface inspection tasks. We report on a technical solution developed at Siemens including our field experiences and results obtained with pilot customers.

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