As the oil and gas industry looks for innovative ways to map out land surveys in a shorter turnaround for laying pipelines, one technology that is seeing increasing interest is the UAV. Here we look at ways UAVs can help in the pipeline routing process.
Single Tool Multi-Function
When surveying using land crews, multiple equipment like GPS, infrared reflectors, etc., have to be carried. But when using a UAV for land surveying, no other equipment has to be carried around. Whatever is required to map the area is already equipped on the UAV.
While doing a land survey through the traditional method, people can get injured from adverse environmental or other natural conditions. But since no humans are directly involved in the survey process using UAVs, except when controlling the operations from afar, there are almost no chances of accidents.
Speed & Accuracy
The proposed pipeline project can only be implemented quickly if the land survey is completed as soon as possible. The longer a survey takes, the more the company needs to postpone building the pipeline. Traditionally, use manned aerial vehicles or land crews are employed to handle the job. But this takes up a lot of time. An easier and faster alternative is the UAV. They are capable of flying lower than manned aerial vehicles and cover far more land quickly than both the existing options. As a result, a detailed land survey is finished off in less amount of time.
By cutting down the required equipment and reducing the time needed to complete the land survey, UAV offers a much cheaper survey option that the traditional methods. So, if you are on a tight budget, UAV mapping is the way to go forward.
Usually, the ground crew and the manual crew will collect two separate data streams regarding the same land that is being surveyed. This data is then consolidated to give a final figure regarding the land. But during consolidation, many errors can occur. And even small errors can negatively affect the quality of the land survey and the pipeline construction. This is where UAVs clearly prove their advantage. These machines login all data that is gathered into one system. And by doing that, no consolidation is required. Instead, the data is directly plugged into the mapping solution.
With the above benefits, UAVs are poised to be a key component of land surveys by oil pipeline companies and other utility companies.