prioritization. It enables the possibility to plan and execute with a long perspective, for example by making a complete plan for overhaul of the network stretching over several years. Once ruptures or leaks have been repaired, new images can be taken and uploaded to document that the work has been done and the problem solved. Thus, the maintenance plan can continuously be documented and updated. ORTHOGRAPHIC MAPS – THE WHOLE NETWORK IN ONE GLANCE As a unique possibility, comprehensive thermal orthographic maps can be created, covering an entire city or specific areas. An orthographic map typically consists of several thousand thermal images put together into one large image. This provides an exceptional overview. With a radiometric orthographic thermal map, it is possible to view the entire network in one glance. No more small, solitary pictures, but everything in one visual go! And still, it is possible to zoom in and to activate the data-analysis and the different categories: What am I looking at here? Components like valves, bends, branch joints, and other details will stand out. In cases where the pipes are close to the surface, the entire line of a pipe will be visible, making checks and adjustments to the grid registration possible.
In the thermal images, ruptures, leaks, and faulty insulation appear as bright spots. Before the customer is given access to the pictures, they are analysed by a specialist. The spots are categorized on the basis of the shape, general appearance and deviation from the ambient temperature.
Figure 3. Flight routes
OUTPUT FROM THERMAL INSPECTIONS New computer software has made it possible to present the thermal data acquired by drones in an easily accessible web solution using a common internet browser. All data is analysed and categorized, and placed on a web-server in the cloud. The hot spots in the pictures are divided into categories. In the easy-to-use platform, the thermal images are shown superimposed on the plant’s own grid registration and on the background of an ordinary street map (e.g. Google maps). The platform is interactive. When the user activates a highlighted hot-spot, relevant information like date/time, GPS-position, altitude, address, and fault-category appears.
Figure 5. High-resolution radiometric orthographic thermal map of an urban area
Comprehensive thermal data, when presented interactively through a web-browser, makes the results easily accessible and will immediately create extra value for the plant operator. Compared to traditional data presentation, through a pdf-file or as a multitude of separate images, it is a giant leap forward. For the plant, orthographic maps and their presentation creates a much-needed overview of the network. Using consecutive orthographic maps, the plant operator can even establish an overview of the development of the grid over time. THERMAL SOLUTION WITH DRONES Over the past 5-10 years, high-resolution digital infrared cameras have become significantly smaller and lighter. The cameras have also become more sensitive towards the relevant infrared wavelengths, and more cold resilient than before.
The user can add comments, change the category, and can add own pictures, e.g. from a hand held thermal camera, or pictures from the dig. It is also possible for the user to display the flight paths flown by the drone, as verification that no relevant areas have been left out. This presentation of the thermal data enables the plant operator to prioritize work in the field. It gives an overview and the possibility to plan repair and renovation based on this Figure 4. Integrated presentation of thermal data in the easy-to-use platform. A leak lights up. Details concerning the leak are easily accessible. Note that the grid registration is shown, too
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