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29 October 2019

Aerial Patrol for water leaks

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How super-resolution images from a drone's eye can help to find water leaks

No resource is more fundamental to life and human society than water. Yet, in half of the EU member states more than 20% of clean drinking water is lost due to leaking in water pipes, before it even reaches consumers.

Researchers have developed a new method to detect damage in water pipes using small planes and drones.  Equipped with multispectral and infrared cameras, they are able to spot water leakages in large rural, inaccessible and dangerous places, where current ground methods, like the acoustic survey, fail. The method has been developed under the EU project WADI.

The team has already conducted first tests in France and Portugal. The results so far show that if only 20% of the European water networks would apply their solution, this alone could savee nearly 1.3 billion m3 water each year.


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