Underwater Acoustics International specializes in the utilization of underwater acoustic remote sensing for the mapping of submerged structures and the adjacent water bottom environments. UAI develops and deploys custom configured sensors, deployment platforms and software packages that are designed to specifically address the needs of the Hydro-Electric Dam Operator. Our services focus on reducing downtime, minimizing risk and increasing safety while providing spatially referenced conditional information that can be used to satisfy regulatory requirements, and track change for predictive maintenance.
Hydroelectric plants have complicated water intake systems and the operation of these facilities are dependent on maintaining proper flow at the headwater intake which is typically protected by a trash rack that prevents large debris from being pulled into the turbine. To maintain the operational capacity and efficiency, inlets must be maintained in a clear high flow-through condition. Our inspections show the amount of debris accumulated at the inlet grating racks and give dam owners a clear view of when maintenance is required.
Inspections of subsurface concrete structures provide valuable information on sediment accretion, development of seepage and voids in the concrete spillway, and the occurrence of piping beneath the dam foundation. Periodic inspections allow dam owners to monitor these conditions and anticipate maintenance needs well before critical conditions present themselves.
We offer comprehensive conditional modeling to provide a complete picture of all structural components of the dam system. Information digital imagery of the above water structure is collected using mobile LIDAR and UAV technology. This data is combined with subsurface acoustic imagery to build a comprehensive 3D geo-referenced system model. These integrated technologies merge seamlessly into a sophisticated deliverable which provides critical data for informed decision-making.
Recurring inspections are needed to monitor changes in structural and environmental conditions affecting the integrity of dams. We have the capability to conduct reliable inspections periodically, and track changes in the submerged surface conditions of the dam embankment, concrete spillway, Power Generation structure and penstocks in support of predictive maintenance models.