UAV Successfully Inspects 6,000 km of Pipeline in Southern China

By Sarah Simpson / 26 Sep 2019
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Microdrones md4-1000 used in pipeline inspection

Microdrones md4-1000 used in pipeline inspection

A recent Microdrones Case Study details the use of the Microdrones md4-1000 in the daily inspection of 6,000 km of oil pipeline through mountainous terrain in Southern China, successfully saving the Sinopec energy company time and money whilst reducing risk to workers. To date Microdrones systems have flown over 40,000 km of pipeline as part of a routine daily inspections program.

A large-scale drone-based pipeline inspection operation was launched in 2017 using the Microdrone md4-1000 following 2 years of field-testing.

Director of Marketing for Microdrones China Harley Ho said “Microdrones has been in China for many years and is known for its reliability, good quality, and services in the market. That’s the reason why Sinopec chose Microdrones.”

Video detailing Microdrones workflow and process, successfully deployed by Sinopec in Southern China since 2017.

The lead for Payload Integration for Microdrones China, Xiaozhi Li, explained in the recent case study how Mircrodrone provides Sinopec with a complete drone inspection workflow.
“Sinopec has very diverse requirements on the applications,” explains Li, “so we offered several solutions based on the Microdrones reliable flight platform the md4-1000.”

These solutions include an EO gimbal solution for daytime inspection, used for monitoring any illegal construction activity along the pipeline, as well as a loud hailer and tethered systems. In the event of an emergency situation on the pipeline, the tethered systems offers long term surveillance whilst the loud hailer is used for dispatch.

Working to gradually replace manual inspections with drone inspection, the working relationship between Microdrones and Sinopec has proved highly successful, with plans to introduce night-time inspections to further protect high-risk spots and geological disaster prevention measures using mdMapper1000 and mdLiDAR1000 professional surveying solutions.

A drone data management platform is also being developed to intelligently analyze drone collected data and in doing so identify and investigate hidden dangers along the pipeline.

Speaking of the working relationship between Microdrones and Sinopec, Yang You, sales representative for Microdrones China said; “As far as we know, there is no such drone operation case in the world. This is a big challenge for our products and services. However, during the demonstrations and on-site test, Sinopec gradually realized that our drone is the best and most stable drone on the market to meet their operational requirements.”  Yang You went onto say; “Our drone system is a productivity tool, not a toy. When customers use our products, they can save costs, improve efficiency, and create profits. Only then are drones truly valuable to the users.”

Microdrones Integrated systems have applications across numerous industry sectors including:

  • Surveying
  • Marine inspection
  • Petroleum and electric power inspections
  • Fire protection
  • Security


Posted by Sarah Simpson Specialising in digital copy Sarah is an experienced copywriter and researcher. Working with Unmanned Systems Technology Sarah has developed a passion for sourcing unique digital content and a talent for writing about the latest technical innovations in the unmanned sector. Connect & Contact