Pipeline patrols – Raptor software for aerial surveillance

Raptor aerial surveillance software eases the process of oil and gas pipeline patrols, making observations and reporting significantly more efficient, timely and accurate.

Pipeline patrol software

Helicopter crews flying patrols over high-pressure oil and gas pipelines for the detection of third-party interference, need an efficient method to track the surveyed sections, and a tool to accurately record all observations and efficiently report the patrol results.

The Raptor solution from DNV is a tailor-made software solution built specifically for oil and gas pipeline patrols. In the UK for instance, Raptor has been the market leader for over 20 years, having reported over 500,000 sightings across 10,000,000 km of pipelines patrolled. Raptor eases the aerial surveillance process for pipeline patrols, increasing accuracy and effectiveness of the reporting. The GIS-enabled software allows the helicopter crew to interact with detailed, bespoke maps of the pipelines during flight in real time, with an interface that easily and accurately allows linking of comments, observations and photographs. The user interface is designed so that the observer can efficiently enter potential threats to the pipeline (sightings), with a minimal number of clicks and in a matter of seconds. The data is uploaded to the Raptor website for review by the network owner. Optionally, the data can be pushed to the asset owner’s network allowing functionalities such as the automatic generation of work orders.

Aerial surveillance becomes more efficient

As the aerial surveillance crew flies over pipelines, the maps instantly and automatically update with a change in colour code, making it easy for the observer to see what section of the pipeline has been covered. This information is also included in the reports that are generated by the system, making it possible to efficiently demonstrate for audits that the aerial surveillance of the entire pipeline fulfils all regulations. Reports generated from Raptor are robust and can be easily shared with upper management and governmental authorities.

The Raptor pipeline patrol solution makes the flights and post-flight reporting more efficient. Crews using the software  operate more efficiently, spending less time in the air. The tool uploads photographs that are taken during the aerial surveillance and semi-automatically registers them with the sighting, based on matching times of the exposure to the time the sighting was reported. Within minutes of landing, the crew can easily upload the data to their servers, giving pipeline owners access to all the necessary data for reports. The data can also be uploaded during a flight, if necessary.

Leading tool for pipeline patrols 

In the UK alone, pipeline patrol flights make approximately 20,000 observations of potential third-party interferences per year. Raptor is the leading software solution to ensure that these observations are reported thoroughly, accurately and immediately so that pipeline owners and operators can protect their assets.

The collected data can also be used for increasing efficiency – it shows percentage of pipeline flown, time used etc. Raptor pipeline patrol software can handle more than one helicopter in a sector during a patrol, easing the process and minimizing overlap.

Key benefits of Raptor pipeline patrol software:

  • pipeline owners can quickly review the threats to the pipeline, often within minutes of their detection
  • improved efficiency and cost savings of pipeline patrols
  • efficiency of patrolling enables shorter flight times 
  • more accurate determination of sighting locations
  • easy entry of observation with intuitive user interface and minimal clicks
  • maps of pipelines viewed during flight, with observed sections changing colour as the crew flies – maps are not used for navigation, but for locating the pipelines during flight
  • reduces potential human error, as photograph locations are matched with sighting
  • easy and quick generation of automatic reports that can be uploaded immediately post-flight or even during flight

Find out more

  UKOPA Good Practice guide

UKOPA Good Practice guide

Managing Pipeline Infringements UKOPA/GP/015

  Data science and machine learning in an industrial context

Data science and machine learning in an industrial context

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