This week’s TPI Tuesday covers the filling of a ditch and the dangers it can provide. As normal as a small ditch may seem, filling it up can be a threat to the pipeline that lies just underneath. The Netherlands is full of these small canals used mostly by agriculture. It is difficult to spot from the ground if a potentially dangerous activity happens at such a location, because they are often not easily accessible. That is where our satellite-based solution is very useful.
The right bottom picture shows the radar amplitude of the area around the ditch. The change in radar due to different signatures of earth and water substances, together with the likely presence of an excavator is detected and shown in the left bottom image.
Due to the swift supply of information about the potential threat, the customer could go to the location and solve the problem. It turned out that the piece of the pipeline was not properly protected in the system, which made the construction company able to start its work without the consent of the network operator. So we did not only prevent a potential situation with the current construction works-, but also future activities in that area should be properly reported to the customer before they start.