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ABB launches drone-based gas leak detection system

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ABB’s latest addition to its mobile gas leak detection system HoverGuard helps find leaks faster and more reliably.
HoverGuard detects, quantifies and maps leaks up to 100 metres from natural gas distribution and transmission pipelines, gathering lines, storage facilities, and other potential sources quickly, safely and reliably.
It automatically generates comprehensive digital reports that summarise results and can be shared in minutes after a survey.
The cloud-connected, multi-gas solution is also the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-based system to quantify the three most important greenhouse gases methane, carbon dioxide and water vapour continuously while flying. The extremely fast response and high precision of the analyser allows scientists and researchers to reliably quantify greenhouse gas fluxes which provides important information when studying the complex environmental processes affecting climate and pollution.
HoverGuard detects leaks while flying at altitudes of 40 meters, or higher, and at speeds greater than 88 km/h.
It can cover 10-15 times more land area per minute by operating on low-cost commercial UAV capable of carrying a payload of 3 kg.
“HoverGuard represents an important step-change in gas leak detection and for the environment.” said Doug Baer, ABB global product line manager of laser analysers. “Previously inspectors had to rely on slow, qualitative, analog sensors or expensive delicate cameras to find leaks.
“Our groundbreaking solution effectively probes locations otherwise inaccessible by either walking or driving. It will increase safety across the pipeline network whether in remote or urban environments, by detecting and mapping natural gas leaks around hard-to-reach sites such as bridges, areas with right-of-way restrictions or vegetation coverage, gas storage assets and pipelines.”