RTA to leverage drones for inspection of Dubai Metro tunnels

Initiative is said to align with the Smart Dubai Strategy 2021

A trial that will see drones inspecting Dubai Metro tunnels extending 14km on the Red and Green Lines has been announced by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). The use of drones enables precise and fast inspection of the condition of assets said Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, the director-general and chairman of the RTA.

He added that drones reduce inspection time, enabled accessibility to challenging areas and can generate accurate reports about the condition of tunnels. He made the remarks during a visit to the Dubai Metro Depot at Al Rashidiya, accompanied by the CEO of the Rail Agency, Abdul Mohsen Ibrahim Younes, and several directors and engineers.

“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,” explained Al Tayer.

During the visit, Al Tayer reviewed initiatives and projects undertaken by the Rail Agency to improve the operation and maintenance of the Dubai Metro, such as the trial-run of using nanotechnology at Noor Bank Station.

As per a statement, the technology reduced the cost of station exterior cleaning by 35%, decreased the cleaning and maintenance frequency, and enhanced the protection of front-ends and floors of both stations and trains. Additionally, it enhanced floor resistance to scratching and adhesion, facilitated self-cleaning and boosted thermal insulation characteristics.

Al Tayer was also briefed about the digitisation of Dubai Metro including the use of onboard smart screens to relay passenger information and ads, and the automated fare gates that facilitate passengers flow besides improving security and safety aspects. The process also included the use of giant screens spanning 80m at the metro stations platforms.

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