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Applying Long Range Video Transmitter to Drones for Oil and Gas Pipeline Inspection

Views: 147     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2019-05-28      Origin: Site


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Drone Video Transmitters

1. Background

Pipelines are the primary means of the distribution of oil and gas resources. The area where the oil and gas pipeline is located has the characteristics of long distance and wide range. These areas are often complex in geography such as large reservoirs, lakes and mountains. Especially when the pipeline crosses the edge of the original forest, high altitude and snow-covered areas the traffic and communication are extremely underdeveloped and geological disasters such as mudslides and landslides along the line also often occur. Therefore, routine manual inspections in these areas are difficult to achieve.

2. Solution

Drones transmit the captured pictures and data back to ground station in real time via long-distance COFDM wireless video transmission system. The ground control station then transmits the image and data information over the Internet to flight monitoring center and oilfield command center. Then command center processes the suspicious targets based on the received information. Compared with manual inspection, drones are more flexible, faster and not affected by terrain and complex climate. Its working efficiency can be several times or even ten times that of manual inspection.

3. Payload

3.1. Wireless HD Video Transmitter

The wireless video transmission system mainly uses electromagnetic waves as a transmission medium to transmit various signals. Generally speaking, the lower frequency of the electromagnetic wave, the farther transmission distance is. For example, the secret communication telephone used in military activities uses ultra-short frequency waves for communication. Terrestrial communication equipment such as walkie-talkies generally use ultra-low frequency waves and some communication methods that require relay (relay towers etc.) use short-wave. Shortwaves have lower frequencies than ultrashort waves and can travel farther such as hundreds of kilometers or even thousands of kilometers. For long-distance transmission, the smaller data amount, the farther traveling distance and the higher transmission power, the higher receiving sensitivity.

wireless communication system

3.1.1. Wireless Video Transmission Advantages

Low cost: 

To establish wired communication, it is necessary to erect cables or dig trenches. Therefore, a lot of manpower and material resources are needed. The wireless data transmission method eliminates the needs of cables and trenches. It only requires to connect the wireless data transmission station to each terminal and set up antennas of appropriate height. In contrast, wireless data transmission saves manpower, material resources and money.

Good adaptability: 

It is difficult to wire in some special application environments such as mountains, lakes and forest areas, which has caused the limitation of wired communication in practical applications. Wireless data transmission methods will not be limited by these geographical environments. UAV equipped with a wireless drone video transmitter perform bidirectional transmission of high-definition video and serial data so that the monitoring center can obtain real-time information of the monitored area without being restricted by geographical factors.

Good Scalability: 

After a user has set up a communication network, new devices are often added because of needs of the system. If it is wired, it will need to re-route and possibly destroy the original communication line. However, if wireless data transmission is used, the system can be expanded by simply connecting the newly added equipment to the wireless data transmission station.

Easier maintenance: maintenance of wired communication links needs to be checked along the line. When a fault occurs, it is generally difficult to find the fault point in time. However the wireless data transmission method only needs to maintain the digital transmission or video transmission module. This way when a fault occurs, people can quickly find out the cause and restore the normal operation of the line.

3.2. 30x Zoom PTZ Camera

The camera captures high-resolution detection images and video with 30x optical zoom and enhanced digital zoom. At high magnification, the pan-tilt jitter angle is<2°.

3.3. Power System

Excellent industrial grade power system ensures stable flight of the drone in high temperature environment. Drones use lithium batteries as the source of power allowing it can be normally working during the normal operating of the refinery. This means the oil and gas pipeline equipment do not need to be shut down during the inspection process. The drone operating platform could capture detailed images at distances of 150 meters height and integrating ground station system makes operation and control simple and effective to finish the task of 24/7 inspection.

4. Project Deliverables

The regular manpower inspection team is usually composed of 3 people and one SUV, which can complete the inspection mission of 200~300km2 one day. The drone inspection can inspect the 100km2 area within 30 minutes. UAV inspection efficiency is much better than conventional manpower inspection efficiency.

During the inspection, the UAV transmits the captured image to the observer through the wireless drone video transmitter in real time. After the inspection, the captured high-definition video can be spliced into the forward image to form an orthotopic topographic map distributed along the pipeline to be retained as historical data or used as a basis for reporting to higher levels. It is also possible to periodically compare non-adjacent video data to accurately understand the impact of topographical changes on the oil pipeline during a certain period of time.

Drone Video Transmitter

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