label_hover_video label_hover_read


Press Releases 03.10.2023
SEGULA Technologies unveils a new project: an autonomous drone to enhance safety in underground tunnel inspections

• Originally developed for safer inspections of underground electrical lines, this new drone project can be applied to other sectors.
• It is poised to set a new standard in visual inspections, offering unprecedented levels of efficiency and safety.

SEGULA Technologies’ new drone project revolutionizes visual and thermographic inspections for underground electrical lines.


Tunnel inspection missions are exposed to inherent dangers such as low oxygen levels, high concentrations of harmful gases, and extreme temperatures. The drone project’s mission is to secure these operations by developing a prototype drone capable of autonomously conducting checks on electrical lines within underground galleries. The technicians responsible for visual inspection will thus be able to perform their work without descending into the galleries, thereby minimizing risks.


The project’s foremost technological challenge lies in enabling the aerial platform to navigate autonomously in environments devoid of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signal, relying on onboard sensors for three-dimensional perception of the surroundings. Additionally, this drone will be equipped with RGB and thermal cameras, as well as environmental sensors to gather valuable data on conditions within the galleries. This will facilitate visual inspections of power lines in both the visible and infrared spectrum, ensuring an accurate evaluation of their condition.


Advantages include accelerated, safer, and higher-quality inspections, leading to cost savings and improved maintenance planning. The thermal camera identifies potential hot points, while the RGB camera verifies defects such as breaks or cracks that may have caused overheating.


SEGULA engineers are actively working on identifying the project’s requirements and developing the drone’s software, in parallel with designing the hardware layout of the prototype. Prototype testing is planned until August 2024, with full readiness of the prototype expected by September 2024.


This drone project is one of the 200 research and innovation projects undertaken each year by SEGULA Technologies. It receives active support from the technological centre CATEC facility and funding from the Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI), under the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.


Such drones may be used in other sector, for example in the railway infrastructure construction. In Italy, SEGULA Technologies will present the project at Expo Ferroviaria Milan from 3rd to 5th of October, stand B154.