Managing Aging Infrastructure With Underwater Drones
Rachel Doornekamp | September 27, 2019
Infrastructure maintenance and management is incredibly important for the health and safety of the communities relying on them to maintain daily life. Unfortunately aging infrastructure is becoming a reality for cities across the globe. With a large number of bridges, dams and municipal waterways reaching 50 to 100 years of age, the importance of infrastructure maintenance has multiplied.
Prioritizing maintenance and repairs saves time and money in the long run. Water main breaks or blocks, degradation and contamination issues result in massive financial losses, not to mention the long-term effects on the surrounding neighbourhoods. Routine inspections on infrastructure including sewage lines, water tanks, and bridges is imperative for the prevention of these costly issues.
At Deep Trekker we are passionate about the proper and safe inspection of the infrastructure that supports our everyday life. An ROV solution provides a straightforward, cost-effective way to maintain the health of important infrastructure.
The visual inspections of pipes is not possible making video the most popular method for checking for leaks and blockages. While pushcams and lateral launch cameras are available options, they do require an operator to physically push the cameras leaving the potential for cord damage and tricky maneuvering through twists and turns. A submersible pipe crawler provides greater control over how pipes are viewed as operators control the camera from above-ground using a remote control.
The battery operated DT340 Pipe Crawler and DT320 Mini Pipe Crawler feature scalable design to allow for the inspection of pipes from 6” to 36” in diameter, with a 280 degree camera rotation giving the operator complete pipe views. The tether length counter allows the user to easily identify where defects lie within the pipe system, while recording and photo capabilities give the user recorded data to schedule future maintenance.
Tanks require regular maintenance and cleaning to protect both the contents and the structural integrity of the tanks. Typically drain inspection requires divers or tank draining, both of which are incredibly costly and time consuming.
The DT640 provides a simple, cost effective solution for tank inspection. The fully submersible crawler boasts a 360 degree turn radius, 8 hour battery life and various attachments. Using a handheld controller, the ROV is easily maneuvered without prior training providing a straightforward solution for regular tank inspections.
Dams, bridges and water systems are made up of immense amounts of concrete often hidden deep underwater. The regular inspection and maintenance of these structures is crucial to ensure safety and efficiency. In the past, divers have been used to monitor and repair submerged structures however these dives are not only physically demanding but bring forth contamination issues, difficult currents and confined space issues making inspection expensive, dangerous and time dependant.
An ROV like Deep Trekker’s DTG3 allows for underwater infrastructure to be inspected without the use of a dive team. With robust construction, 4k camera quality, floodlights and extreme maneuverability the battery operated DTG3 allows for inspections to take place from land. The handheld controller allows for photos and video to document areas of interest.
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