Power & pipeline monitoring:


The line-surveying mission provides the customer with the
capability to monitor broad tracts of pipe or power line systems for leaks or damage, to provide
rapid alerts if detected, and to provide the capability for extended loiter to monitor a damaged
segment.  The leaks or damages result from natural disasters, accidents, or unauthorized thirdparty encroachment.

A payload package consisting of  an IR/visual camera facilitates the mission by scanning for geographic shifts in areas surrounding the lines and performs vegetation surveys. 

The system is defined to examine a length of power/pipeline, the team defined the system in repeatable segments, determined by the full desired range of operation.  Each segment consists of ground stations at both ends and an appropriate number of relay stations between to speed transmission of data from the UAV in flight back to the ground stations.  The ground stations themselves consist of a mobile command and control center, a rough landing strip, and appropriate maintenance equipment.  Station operations require only two individuals.  The station acts as a node to collect incoming data and serves as a remote operating point should the aircraft need manual piloting.  The UAV takes off from these stations and cruises to the start  of the inspection point – a maximum of 10 miles distant.  From here, the vehicle cruises  at approximately 1000 ft AGL and 100 kts while performing inspections using  AAT’s unique sensor array and visual/thermal cameras.  The end of the inspection run places the UAV within range of the second ground station, where it will land, refuel, and takeoff again back to the original station.  Depending on the customer’s requirements for inspection frequency, multiple aircraft may be in the air flying the route described above.