HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. — ULC Robotics, a global leader in innovation and technology development in the energy and utility markets, and Los Gatos Research, or LGR, participated in the Mobile Methane Monitoring Challenge hosted by the Environmental Defense Fund and Stanford University’s Natural Gas Initiative.
ULC Robotics and LGR deployed their patented UAV-based sensor to identify the source of controlled methane leaks. The data obtained by the UAV and sensor will be compared to 11 other ground- and aerial-based technologies.
The U.S. has more than 300,000 miles of inter- and intrastate natural gas transmission pipelines, as well as more than 2 million miles of distribution pipelines. Monitoring for gas leaks using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) can help gas utilities better manage their infrastructure and ensure public safety.
According to data from the EDF, approximately 25% of global warming is caused by methane emissions, which has more than 80 times the impact of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.
“Leak surveys are traditionally carried out by vehicle or by foot, which can be inefficient and dangerous to utility workers,” said Michael Passaretti, UAV Program Manager at ULC Robotics. “By using Los Gatos Research’s new aerial gas-leak detection sensor, our team is able to reduce the cost of these surveys and ensure these critical pipelines are free of leaks.”
ULC Aerial Services, a division of ULC Robotics, is successfully penetrating the market of UAV services through technical leadership, expansive utility business expertise, and strategic partnerships. Its diverse team of unmanned system pilots, engineers, sensor scientists, and project managers brings the utility industry an end-to-end solution for unmanned aerial inspection using custom-designed, fully autonomous aircraft deployed by a crew of expert pilots.