Networx3 Drones have been inspecting hundreds of metres of underground sewers with the toughest drone in their fleet.
The company was drafted in to survey the subterranean network, much of which runs under a beach, by a UK water company.
The photographs and footage filmed by the collision-proof Elios 2 drone allowed the client to check if ladders, walls, chambers and tunnels were in a good condition.
Networx3 founder and managing director Ian Ashworth and commercial director Caroline Earnshaw are two of the company’s five qualified commercial drone pilots.
They deployed their Elios 2 drone – with its anti-collision sensors and integrated spherical cage – by flying it down a 30ft vertical drop into the sewer network.
From there it was flown along nine chambers filming video footage and taking photographs as it went – covering approximately 500m in total.
Ian said: “The Elios 2 is made for this kind of job. No other drone could pull this off. We’re delighted with the peace of mind that we’ve been able to give our client using this drone in its natural habitat.”
Live footage was streamed directly into the Networx3 Drones control vehicle, which was commissioned, designed and built by Networx3 to allow a ‘flying squad’ to offer drone capability to clients anywhere in the UK.
This means clients can sit and watch the live feed on two 44-inch television screens and direct the pilot via a real-time radio link.
Ian said: “If any of this sewer network suffers erosion, damage or collapse then there is a risk to the public because it runs under a public beach.
“When you send a person down into the depths of a sewer network they may encounter harmful toxic gas, bacteria, big drops, trips and falls hazards. They may be out of reach and out of sight in confined spaces and all of that makes it a dangerous place to work. The Elios 2 can do a lot of that inspection work instead.
"The client was very happy with the results because it protects the safety of their staff but also saves them money. This is a new way to do monitoring of their sewer infrastructure.”