Using UAV mounted methane sensors to to find natural gas leaks

Silver Spring Energy Consulting Ltd. is working closely with Burnt Lake Gas Coop to test and implement an aerial mounted laser methane detection system to quickly cover short segments of high pressure gas distribution lines in areas with challenging ground access due to variable terrain, underbrush and livestock.

We are using our brand-new Laser Methane Mini detector mounted to one of our DJI Hexrotor drones to capture highly accurate and georeferenced gas readings during semi-autonomous flights along the pipeline right-of-way.

Our sensor bounces infrared laser light off the ground and measures the concentration of methane in the air column from the UAV all the way to the surface down wind of the pipeline ensuring that regardless of how the plume propagates upward we will detect it.

By combining imagery and ground observation we can identify naturally occurring sources of high methane readings such as grain silos, marshes, rotting vegetation and livestock. This reduces the number of false positives reported. When suspicious readings are reported, our team will make every effort to do a ground-level inspection of the area of interest.

All results are reported to Burnt Lake, including raw gas readings, a Shapefile of the results and a web map for quick review at the end of every day of flight to allow for rapid follow-up.

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