Merrick LiDAR Zeros in on Energy Cost Savings with Thermal Imaging

COLORADO October 29, 2012 Aging infrastructure and historic structures presented challenges at the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base (F.E. Warren AFB) in Cheyenne, WY, as the base desired to meet energy reduction guidelines and work towards a Net Zero goal. F.E. Warren AFB sought Merrick & Company (Merrick NEWS) to perform LiDAR and thermal Imagery services that would locate areas of heat loss from historic facilities on base; working towards the energy reduction solutions, the client desired.

With many historic structures dating back to the mid 1800s, F.E. Warren AFB needed to find a cost effective approach to identifying where high heat loss were occurring which they believed were from aging building roofs or in the high temperature hot water (HTHW) distribution system. The HTHW system heats most of the base facilities through a series of underground utility corridors, which are two to three feet deep concrete trenches with three-inch concrete caps, often times overlaid with parking lots, roads, and sidewalks.

In order to analyze the existing base conditions, Merrick utilized a multi-sensor suite of the latest geospatial, remote sensing and mapping technologies to offer the client the most accurate results. For the project, combined color digital aerial photography, coupled with LiDAR, thermal imagery, and a variety of orientation technologies were integrated for best results.

By employing a thermal sensor with LiDAR in an airborne platform, a rapid, collection and analysis provided F.E. Warren AFB the exact location, extent, and temperature signature of the problem areas. The innovative technique using the Cessna 402B aircraft allowed hundreds of buildings (base wide) to be inventoried more cost effectively. The underground HTHW system was easily detected using these technologies, that otherwise would have been impossible due to the several inches of concrete and paving overlays on site.

Merricks findings will allow F.E. Warren AFB to initiate a base wide assessment and maintenance plan for all of the buildings and underground HTHW piping on a consistent baseline.

More information about Merrick & Company can be found at Merrick GeoSpatial Services.