Thermal imaging of the heat network from a helicopter will start today 

From March 4, Utilitas will start photographing the district heating networks of Tallinn, Maardu, Haapsalu, Keila and Rapla from a helicopter with a thermal camera. The technical condition of the network is mapped by thermal imaging. 

“Photos are taken with a Flir thermal camera using the latest detection technology, and the results are analyzed using artificial intelligence. Thermal imaging provides an additional overview of the current state of heat network and is an input for the maintenance and investment planning of the district heating network,” explained Utilitas network manager Elis Fels. 

Thermal imaging is divided into two evenings this week in Tallinn, flights in smaller cities take place during one evening. The dates of thermal imaging may change, as the availability of flights depends on weather conditions and other air traffic. 

The lack of sunlight is important for taking the thermal photos, which is why flights take place after sunset between 8-11 p.m. In order to take pictures of the entire city’s heat network, the helicopter flies nearby a single location place approximately three times, which means that the sound of the helicopter can be heard in one location for about 15 minutes. Flights take place at an altitude of 300-400 m. Utilitas apologizes for any inconvenience caused by late night helicopter flights. 

Utilitas makes thermal images of district heating networks in cooperation with Finnish companies GridJet Oy and Advian Oy, which have experience in carrying out such work in both Finland and Estonia. The previous thermal imaging of Utilitas district heating networks took place in 2022.