Riga, Antwerp, Zurich – January 19, 2021: In Q4 2020 SkyeBase, a total inspection service provider & inspection platform developer, addressed the request from Fluxys Belgium, a gas infrastructure group headquartered in Belgium, to control several zones of their high pressure gas pipeline and decompression installations on methane leakages. The method confirmed to be safe, accurate, labor and cost effective in comparison to traditional practices of using helicopters or ground sniffers and/or fixed sensors.
To perform the natural gas pipeline and facilities leak inspections, SkyeBase’s DJI M600 drone was equipped with Pergam-Suisse’s Falcon methane/natural gas detection laser-based sensor payload. The drone mission planning was arranged with SPH Engineering’s UgCS software and collected data was accumulated with UgCS SkyHub hardware. The detection distance was between 30 and 50 meters with a minimum measured value of 125 ppm* x m and 225 ppm x m. The device can measure methane (ch4) and gas containing methane (natural gas).
As a result, hard-to-reach locations were inspected and mapped safe and correct, including hard to measure wet, wooded and densely built locations. ‘The measured methane emissions can be coherently captured and processed into useful insights via a platform and a report. This generates a quantitative insight to take actions, improve the return on investment of the asset, extend usage and reduce environmental risks’, Bart Daniels, COO at SkyeBase explains.
During inspections of gas pipes and installations the measured methane values were linked to the GPS coordinate, which made the exact location easy to determine. Findings were reported on the basis of values and GPS locations and provided with technical advice.
‘Gas leak inspections with a UAV is definitely a prospective way to detect methane. Most important, the method allows a safe unmanned access to the asset. It guarantees higher uptime, more accurate and coherent inspection results, reduces inspection costs, helps visualize evolutions. However, it still has a limitation of being not suitable for long distances’, Alexei Yankelevich, head of software development at SPH Engineering, adds.
* ppm x m = parts per million per meter
SkyeBase is a total inspection service provider & inspection platform developer that helps asset owners and maintenance managers deploy and perform 100% uptime inspections with drones and sensors for the management of their critical assets. This with the aim of reducing costs and increasing efficiency in order to work in a more ecological and safe way with the maximum use of intelligent software supported by AI to obtain actionable data analyzes. (www.skyebase.be)
About SPH Engineering / UgCS Industrial Solutions
SPH Engineering (sph-engineering.com) is the world’s premier UgCS (ugcs.com) software developer and integration services provider for unmanned aerial systems. Founded in 2013 in Latvia, the company has created a rich global customer network while over 45% of customers are located in North America. Its developed UgCS, UgCS Mapper, ATLAS, Drone Show Software, and Industrial Integration Solutions for UAV with Echo Sounders, Ground Penetrating Radars (GPR), Magnetometers, Metal and Methane detectors, enriched with radar/laser altimeters, are applied across a wide range of industries worldwide. (industrial.ugcs.com)
About Pergam Suisse
Pergam-Suisse specializes in equipment and UAV sensor payloads to safely and cost-efficient detect natural gas/methane emissions.