PUB deploys UAVs for monitoring underground tunnels

Wang Fei, CEO of Aerolion Technologies, shares with Water & Wastewater Asia on the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) project, where unmanned aerial vehicles are being deployed to conduct regular maintenance and inspection.

Dubbed the “superhighway” for the future management of used water, Singapore’s Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) is a solution conceived by PUB, Singapore’s national water agency to meet the republic’s long-term needs for used water collection, treatment, reclamation, and disposal.

When it comes to inspection and maintenance of the protection lining inside the deep tunnel sewers, PUB worked with Aerolion Technologies, a drone inspection and survey provider, to carry ut inspections using a miniature unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system to capture high-resolution images of the tunnel’s internal wall.

Drones at work at deep tunnels.

Wang Fei, CEO of Aerolion Technologies, shared an overview of the DTSS project with Water & Wastewater Asia, and said: “After a decade of usage, Singapore’s DTSS Phase 1 needs regular inspection for preventive maintenance purposes. So far, there is no mature solution for such a requirement because of the extreme DTSS environmental factors, namely total darkness, long shaft-to-shaft distance, no localisation reference, slippery wall and fast-flowing water with varying water level.

“Launching into DTSS a miniature UAV with inspection sensors is one of the best solutions as it prevents human operators to enter the hazardous environment, and the UAV will not directly contact tunnel wall or be affected by the fast-flowing water during operation.”

The full article is published on the latest Water & Wastewater Asia Sep/Oct 2021 issue. To continue reading, click here.