CASE STUDY: Detecting Emissions and Gas Leaks with a UAS

GE's new Raven drone can detect gas leaks

SUMMARY: Unmanned aerial vehicles can be a crucial tool for oil and gas companies who need to monitor their assets for potentially environmentally damaging leakage. UAV's can quickly assess a large area safely, and cost effectively.

PROBLEM: Natural gas leaks and other emission pollution that remains unchecked can emit several tons of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere causing a potential manmade disaster. Over the course of 112 days this precise scenario happened in 2016 as a Los Angeles storage facility, says the Washington Post. These types of leaks can be extremely difficult to detect and can potentially cause millions of dollars in environmental damage that is almost impossible to reverse.

SOLUTION: General Electric Corporation (GE) is now testing a drone could help prevent these types of scenarios from occurring. Dubbed the "Raven," the GE unmanned aircraft system is "engineered to detect emissions precisely and cost effectively," The platform includes a drone, autonomous flight technology, and a ground-based telecommunication system that streams data from the UAS to a cloud-based analytics system. GE is developing the technology so that it can be used by almost anyone.

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