Powerline inspection

Olive green, black and light blue point cloud of continuous transmission line and trees for powerline inspection purposes.

Quick and cost effective 3D mapping of transmission lines for powerline inspection

Transmission lines need to be regularly inspected, typically annually, according to the local in-country regulations. For example, a range of federal, state and local level entities regulate the US electricity sector including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil.

Statutory obligations include the implementation of programs to improve safety, such as reducing the number of fires started from utility assets. Faults on overhead powerlines can cause ground fires, and result in major bushfires leading to loss of life, property and livestock.

Regular inspection reduces the number of power outages, as preventative maintenance can be planned and undertaken in a timely manner. Inspection will also enable better modeling of the throughput of a transmission line, potentially enabling a higher rate of return.

The power of the Routescene UAV LiDAR system is the ability to:

  • quickly survey sections of powerlines where there are gaps in existing LiDAR data
  • survey sections that cannot be scanned with airborne LiDAR methods
  • survey sections that are difficult to access or hazardous due to steep slopes, natural hazards or dense vegetation
  • detect and map infrastructure which is obstructed by vegetation

The system has immediate value for utilities projects and outcomes include:

  • achieve a complete 3D map of electricity assets across a powerline corridor or network
  • 3D mapping of proposed corridors including Digital Surface Models and Bare Earth Models (Digital Terrain Models)
  • survey powerline damage after natural disasters
  • structure and line rating assessment including the position of poles and wires
  • monitor aging and overloaded transmission lines; visualize line sag in various weather conditions; avoid blackouts caused by improperly rated lines by regularly monitoring your assets including
  • towers and transmission lines
  • satisfy safety and regulatory requirements

Use cases