Facilitated management of underwater assets with multibeam sonar and laser scan

Uniper was interested in underwater surveys of hydropower plants to ensure its reliable, safe and sustainable energy supply to Swedish industry. The energy company needs to be informed about the overall condition of its underwater assets and their physical and geographical forms as the correct functioning of the dams provides the basis for secure energy production as hydropower covers approximately half of Sweden’s power demand.

The inspections of Uniper’s dam structures were performed with the combination of multibeam sonar and laser scan to extensively survey the whole inspection area.  For Uniper, it was especially interesting to see the condition of structures both above and under water level. With the sonar and laser combination, we were able to inspect areas that are often left invisible with traditional inspection methods.

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“The results are used for monitoring Uniper’s assets, and also considered as the first step to define a starting point for future controls. We can use the data for example before starting a dam rehabilitation project, and to keep track on changes in structures over time. With sonar inspections we can map areas where possible damage could be suspected. After this, divers could be sent for a closer examination”, Kuoljok explains.

3D data for long-term monitoring

Uniper uses the results of the inspections for quality assurance, change comparisons and long-term monitoring of the structures. Our services are a part of Uniper’s safety work for hydropower plants, ensuring that structures are constructed, maintained and managed accordingly. The multibeam inspections offer Uniper the basis for monitoring structural changes over time as all survey data is stored in GISGRO online-service for Uniper’s independent use.

Cooperation tailored to customer needs

The key of successful cooperation has been in working closely together from the field work to the reporting of the results. With fluent communication, well-planned and swift inspections, timely reporting and smart utilization of 3D data is secured.

“We found VRT’s method very competitive, also compared to our domestic options. There has been good cooperation and communication with the field team, reporting group and other contacts, ensuring a smooth asset management entity for us”, continues Kuoljok.


Uniper is an international energy company delivering energy products and services worldwide. Read more about Uniper here.

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The concept VRT offers felt exciting as it combines multibeam sonar and laser scanning. No other consulting company in Sweden had seriously shown the benefits of this technology combination as well as the complete visual image that is delivered to us by VRT

Uno Kuoljok, Dam Safety Specialist, Hydropower, Uniper SE

Digitalized assets in energy industry

Digitalisation has already reached the hydropower industry, and digital tools are used for managing assets more efficiently. Our cooperation in digitising underwater assets with Uniper was presented at the power industry’s conference with industry professionals gathering to discuss about the theme of digitalisation.

Read more about the topic here (in Swedish)

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