National Grid trial aerial LiDAR inspection for gas network
National Grid have announced they are conducting a trial programme using laser scanning data to deliver safety and operational efficiency improvements across their network. In a UK gas transmission first, the operator will employ LiDAR technology to monitor the terrain around the pipeline, using an airborne survey.
Working with NM Group, the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) funded project will conduct multiple LiDAR scans over a gas transmission pipeline section. The accurate 3D data will be used by National Grid to identify earth movement and update asset information. Additionally, by comparing the aerial flights, the project will identify any major changes within the project area. This will help identify safety concerns and detect any third party interference on the network.
Quentin Mabbutt, Gas Transmission Innovation suggests that “LiDAR surveys offer considerable potential for the company to unify numerous pipeline asset integrity data sets within one interactive portal. Working alongside Ian Crompton of National Grid’s Pipeline Maintenance Centre (PMC) is providing the programme with a rich set of line walking data which greatly enhances our understanding of the topographical LiDAR results obtained to date. It is hoped that the programme will enhance the on-going management of our pipeline assets”.
Kevin Jacobs, Managing Director at NM Group, added: “The project presents a number of key benefits, such as reducing the cost of walking inspections and providing additional information on the network condition. Using our 3D software, Caydence®, this information is easily accessible within a single platform. National Grid are leading the way with this technology and we look forward to further collaboration with them during the project.”
Pipeline data displayed in NM Group's online 3D asset management platform, Caydence®
The project is expected to deliver efficiency and safety improvements across the network and if successful may provide a new approach to pipeline integrity monitoring.
About National Grid
All gas in the UK passes through National Grid’s national transmission system on its way to consumers. As the sole owner and operator of gas transmission infrastructure in the UK, National Grid work with other companies to ensure that gas is available where and when it’s needed.