PUB explores UAVs for inspection of 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 were explored to facilitate regular inspection.

Dubbed the “superhighway” for the 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 of the protection lining inside the deep tunnel sewers, PUB worked with Aerolion Technologies, a drone inspection and survey provider, to explore carring out inspections using a miniature unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system to capture high-resolution images of the tunnel’s internal wall.

Flight trials in drainage systems before actual testing in DTSS.

Wang Fei, CEO of Aerolion Technologies, shared an overview of the DTSS project with Water & Wastewater Asia, and said: “After a decade of usage, it is important to regularly inspect and maintain the DTSS (Phase 1) to prevent disruptions to its operations. Launching a miniature UAV is one potential solution to inspect DTSS as it does not require human operators to enter the hazardous environment, and the UAV will not be affected by the used water flow during inspection.

“In addition, unlike other existing tunnel inspection tools which require a physical tether for retrieval, the UAV is able to perform the inspection without such constraints and is able to complete the inspection distance within a shorter period of time.”

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