HelgiLab, a resident of Skolkovo’s space technologies cluster, is set to create a 3D map showing heat leaks from buildings and heating systems in Moscow after winning the Open Innovation Marketplace competition, which laid down 10 industry challenges.

The map will make it possible to identify the buildings and sections of the heating system with the biggest leaks so that they can be repaired. The map will also identify buildings that are emitting too much heat energy.

A depiction of how HelgiLab's system turns a photo into part of a 3D map. Photo: HelgiLab.ru.

HelgiLab makes 3D models of cities using data obtained by surface laser scanning, photos and Earth remote sensing. To build up a heat map, a powerful thermal imaging device is used that creates a highly accurate picture where points of heat loss can be pinpointed to within a few dozen centimetres. This way, maintenance workers can not only see which building the leak is coming from, but also on which side and at which height.

Oleg Ilichev, general director of HelgiLab, said it would take two months to obtain a panoramic infrared map of the capital.

“We’re already working with similar technology in Moscow using a panoramic camera, a GPS tracker and range of other models. This equipment enables us to build a model of an entire city in the visible spectrum. All we have to do to get an image in the infrared spectrum is to swap the regular camera for a thermal imaging device,” said Ilichev.

“The company makes a product that is needed by and useful to city managers, engineers, builders and developers of apps linked to a city and navigation,” said Ilya Goldt, the company’s project manager within Skolkovo’s space cluster, adding that the range of applications for the company’s systems is growing, along with interest in the company.

“HelgiLab’s precise 3D maps could become a good basis in the future for the navigation of driverless vehicles – on land, in the air and in water – and that’s a market on a whole new scale,” said Goldt.