Unmanned Systems Technology 033 l SubSeaSail Gen6 USSV l Servo actuators focus l UAVs insight l Farnborough 2020 update l Transforma XDBOT l Strange Development REVolution l Radio telemetry focus

76 T he Governor Edmund G Brown California Aqueduct is a vast network of canals, tunnels and pipelines that runs largely from northern to southern California, covering around 450 miles of terrain. It is by far the single largest component of the state-wide water management and delivery system in what is one of America’s most water- dependent agricultural centres, and simultaneously one of its most drought- ridden states. As John Tamplin, CEO of Seafloor Systems tells us, “The California Department of Water Resources, which manages the aqueduct, has made it their priority to be more proactive towards leak detection on the canal. It is 50-60 years old and its infrastructure is ageing badly. “To make matters worse, I’ve seen an overlay that shows the routes of the aqueduct compared with the San Andreas fault – the two line up almost perfectly. To be fair though, the aqueduct was built before anyone really understood exactly where the fault runs and what a huge geo-tectonic risk they were taking.” The common approach to determining when and where a blowout or leak in the aqueduct is occurring has been to wait to see wet spots growing on its outside. Human divers typically go in afterwards to perform inspections and assess how best to carry out repairs. Customising this survey USV has helped to maintain the integrity of California’s water supply network. Rory Jackson explains how it was done Watercourse workhorse The California Aqueduct consists of over 400 miles of water infrastructure that needs specialised hydrographic survey equipment (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons; photo by Ian Kluft) August/September 2020 | Unmanned Systems Technology