Drones tested by South West Water

PUBLISHED: 10:00 30 December 2016


South West Water is testing the use of drones to find water leaks.

The company is working with the University of Exeter on the project, which features drones fitted with thermal cameras.

Laboratory tests are said to have been positive and field-scale trials are planned for 2017.

The technology works by attaching a thermal sensor to a drone, which is then flown along pipeline routes. The thermal sensor can detect differences in soil temperature which could be caused by escaping water.

It is one of several projects to be led by the new South West Partnership for Environment and Economic Prosperity, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council.

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