Natural gas transmission company GRTgaz has chosen AIR MARINE, a French company specializing in aerial data acquisition and processing, to lead monthly drone surveillance of an 80 km stretch of pipeline on GRTgaz's natural gas transport network.
In France, GRTgaz owns and operates 32,150 km of underground pipelines and 27 compressor stations to transmit natural gas between suppliers and consumers. For GRTgaz, aerial drone surveillance of its network is an efficient solution, especially in densely wooded and hard-to-reach areas.
The first missions were completed during the past few months on hilly terrain in southwestern France. After many experiments, the drone surveillance is now operational and complements the current monitoring system, which includes a remote monitoring center, ground-based inspection and flyovers.
For each operation, two pilots on the ground handle both drone navigation and the data analysis. All of the data is then integrated into an interface designed by AIR MARINE.
According to the companies, this is France’s first drone-based gas pipeline surveillance program.