Case Study – Fusehill Pipe Survey

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Project Scope

Our Client, an estates manager for the University of Cumbria's North Campus, had issues with broken pipework within the district heating system. The broken pipework was resulting in a loss of 1000's of litres of hot water from per week resulting in increased energy bills and reduced functionality.

It was planned that the road would be excavated to locate the pipework and find any leaks. IRT Surveys proposed that a UAV thermal drone survey of the area would highlight the pipes location and find the source of any leaks without the need for full scale excavation.



How IRT Surveys Helped: 

Using our state of the art, thermal imaging UAV drones we  can offer an entirely new and unique perspective.  We can get closer, are more manoeuvrable and go where traditional aircraft can’t. 

Our visual and thermal  survey was completed, safely and accurately,  in a single day meaning minimal disruption to the tenant, students and the general public. 

We have full Civil Aviation Authority permissions to operate drones for commercial aerial work – are fully insured – and are experts in gathering aerial images using remote controlled aerial systems, also known as UAV Drones. We process and edit in-house using the latest commercially licensed post-production applications.




The use of our drone gave our client the best perspective on the problem region , expert analysis found 2 areas of increased temperature and created an easy to understand overlay, highlighting areas of significance directly onto the image. 

Contractors dug up the locations identified within our report and found the broken pipe saving time and money on investigative works with minimal disruption.                                               

What Did We Provide?

After survey completion; images were uploaded to our head office to be evaluated by our analyst team. Our upload system allows for instant handover from surveyor to analyst and fast turnaround.

  • The completed report was with the client in 5 working days.


  • A full colour PDF format report was uploaded to our secure server  and a link sent to the client for instant access to his results.


  • Our reports are designed for readability and understanding.


  • Each page of the report includes a thermal and visual image with corresponding location plan.


  • The primary plan indicates which page you can find analysis for your chosen section.

Services Used

  • Thermal Imaging
  • Drones
  • Image Overlay Technology

"After recommendations from my line manager, I contacted Ray Langford (IRT Surveys). I needed to identify the location of an underground leak to the heating pipework serving our Halls of Residence on our Carlisle Campus. I sent IRT site layout drawings, the following weekend an aerial survey of the site had been carried out. Within a couple of days, I was emailed all the data, from the data, 2 areas were identified as potential leaks. By using this method, we were able to pinpoint the problem, therefore reducing disruption to site operation."

Alan Ewing - Estates Manager North -University of Cumbria

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