Dubai’s RTA to trial drones in inspecting Dubai Metro tunnels
Posted: 13 January 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
Using drones is said to enable a precise and fast inspection of the condition of assets, saving inspection time, enabling accessibility to arduous spots and generating highly accurate reports about the condition of tunnels.
His Excellency Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), has revealed RTA’s intention to start a trial-run of drones in inspecting Dubai Metro tunnels extending 14 km on both the Red and Green Lines.
“This initiative, which is in line with Smart Dubai Strategy 2021, uses custom-made drones fitted with multiple cameras enabling pictorial monitoring of tunnels via high-definition lenses. It also enables the inspection of tunnel walls through infrared radiation. The technology generates instant reports easing the assessment of the condition of assets, monitoring the maintenance works and detecting faults. The process is linked with RTA’s Maintenance Department, and provides a paperless digital inspection platform that curbs potential human errors,” said Al Tayer.
Al Tayer reportedly reviewed initiatives and projects undertaken by the Rail Agency to improve the operation and maintenance of Dubai Metro, such as the trial-run of using nanotechnology at Noor Bank Station. The technology was reported to have reduced the cost of the station exterior cleaning by 35 per cent, decreased the cleaning and maintenance frequency, and enhanced the protection of front-ends and floors of both stations and trains. It was also said to enhance floor resistance to scratching and adhesion, facilitated self-cleaning and boosted thermal insulation characteristics.
Other projects that Al Tayler reviewed included the use of onboard smart screens, automated fare gates, the use of screens spanning 80 metres at the metro stations platforms, the latest developments of manufacturing metro parts using 3D technology and the Smart Stores at Dubai Metro Depot where RTA has reportedly become the first government entity to implement a smart storage system.