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Inspectahire Protects Chatsworth Lawns During Telecoms Upgrade

15 November 2012

Scottish remote visual inspection company Inspectahire visited one of Britain’s favourite historic country houses earlier this year to help upgrade the building’s communications system.

Chatsworth Estate was installing a new telecoms cable at Chatsworth House, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, but faced the challenge of how to do this without affecting the pristine lawns surrounding the historic house.

After discovering a network of narrow Victorian tunnels in the grounds, Chatsworth Estate approached Aberdeen-based Inspectahire to investigate if the 2.3km long telecoms cable could be laid in the structures.

Using a remotely controlled inspection tractor, Inspectahire was able to pull the cable through the network of tunnels. This method of installation ensured that the Derbyshire house’s gardens, which attract around 300,000 visitors each year, did not need to be dug up to allow the cable to be buried. In addition to preserving the gardens, minimal disruption was caused and time and money was saved on the cable’s installation.

Inspection tractors are compact, rugged four or six-wheeled inspection devices that are fitted with zoom, pan and tilt cameras and controlled and powered by an umbilical. Measuring from 150mm in height, tractors are designed to inspect pipelines, sewers and ducts, but can also be equipped to pull objects.

Cailean Forrester, Inspectahire managing director, said: "This was a very interesting project to work on as it involved new technology, reusing old, redundant structures, and preserving historic surroundings. Chatsworth is a well known landmark in the British countryside that is visited by many thousands of people each year and the estate faced the challenge of upgrading their telecoms network while causing the minimum of disruption.

"The underground tunnels provided the solution but they are narrow and over 100 years old, meaning it was not possible to safely lay the cables manually. Due to its size and capabilities an inspection tractor was the ideal tool for the project. In addition to pulling the cable through the tunnel without exposing personnel to any risks, the tractor was able to inspect the condition of the structure and relay that information back above ground.”