SL40 Unmanned Boat Unveils Illegal Sewage Pipes | OceanAlpha

Date: 26-27 December, 2019

Location: A river section in Guangxi, China

Platform:  SL40 unmanned surface vehicle(USV)

Device: Side scan sonar

Consigned by a client, OceanAlpha used a TC40 USV to check the drain pipelines on both sides of the river. The river section is 14 km long, while 3km of which was checked twice, making the total survey length 17km.

The whole survey route is as shown below:

The investigation results are as shown below:


Three open water pipes and one suspected concealed pipe was found in this inspection. The detailed results, including the latitude and longitude positions, sonar images and field pictures are as below:

  1. Domestic sewage outlet:

latitude: g108°36.269′

longitude: 21°55.709′


  1. Water-gate

latitude: g108°36.892′

longitude: 21°56.320′


  1. Suspect point (white hose)

latitude: g108°35.973′

longitude: 21°54.580′

Situation: There is a white hose on the water. The sonar image showed traces of water running towards the shore.



Survey result

In this mission, the total investigation length was 17 kilometers and the working time was 6 hours. The USV successfully found 3 open water pipes and 1 suspected concealed pipe. The real-time video and images from the USV enabled the surveyor to have a clear understanding of the water environment and finally determine the conditions of the concealed pipe and sewage outlets.


Pipeline detection software interface

USV base station software interface


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