The inspection requirements of a hydroelectric generation plant are multi-tiered. Regular inspections of a dam’s exterior features, both above and below the surface, are crucial to the safety and integrity of a dam, including spillway gates, tunnels, downstream slopes, surge tanks, and remote locations on penstocks. Traditionally, inspection teams would perform rope-access inspections to inspect the entire dam face for cracks, joint offsets, concrete damage, gate misalignment, and overall condition. Similar responsibilities also fell to dive teams for subsurface inspections. These tasks are now assigned to drones and ROVs (remotely operated vehicles).
Aerial drone inspection is also used for fish ladder monitoring, aerial photography, construction monitoring, monitoring of the dam during flood inspections, and lock miter gate inspections, while utility owners and asset managers are increasingly using ROVs equipped with sonar imaging devices, cameras and sensors for underwater work.
RMUS’s systems offer safe, cost-efficient alternatives to sending a rope crew up or a dive team down for emergency or routine inspections—and they play a key role in minimizing downtime, reducing outages and avoiding catastrophic shutdowns.