High voltage inspections
Keeping your lights on
High voltage lines are electrical lines that distribute power at high voltages. The maintenance of these lines is a risky job, which requires careful attention and caution. Power line maintenance involves examining the pylons, inspecting their insulators and detecting thermographic problems.
Inspection is currently performed from the ground or by helicopter. The difference is that line inspectors who work from the ground are required to climb posts to access the lines whilst inspectors using helicopters do not. Although inspection with helicopters is much faster and safer, the downside is that this method is much more expensive and sometimes restricted in terms of time to avoid disturbance.
Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) provide a safe, cheap and easily deployable alternative to traditional methods. UAS carry cameras that produce high resolution as well as thermal images and are equipped with transmitters to share live footage. The UAS are easy to deploy and can fly to within a couple of metres of the lines. UAS can improve the quality and safety of inspection, increase the frequency and reduce the costs.