Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Safe to say, it is a drone!
The ever-present drones embraced by millions of hobbyists are making inroads into corporate services. UAVs are often employed for mapping, aerial inspection, and environmental research.
Drones have become the default go-to option when inspecting the power lines and electrical grid infrastructure.
ADVANTAGES OF UAV POWER LINE INSPECTION
UAVs have transformed the way companies undertake power line inspection. It is one of the areas where drone utilization brings significant benefits to grid infrastructure operators.
- Safety. UAVs enable companies to conduct inspections in a safe manner, without putting human employees at risk.
- Quick deployment. Drones can be put into operation in mere minutes. This greatly reduces the preparation time for inspections, as well as for inspection planning.
- Thorough inspections. UAVs can fly especially close to the inspection target. Equipped with high-resolution cameras, Lidar, and other sensor options, they can identify minute imperfections – targets that would have definitely been missed employing other inspection options.
- Diverse tasks. Drones can be successfully employed to detect power line damage, detect overgrowth and accomplish a multitude of grid infrastructure inspection tasks in a single flyover.
- Simple planning. Compared to helicopter inspections, drone operations are simple to plan – little downtime, no need to calculate in refueling or adapt to the weather conditions. With every generation, UAVs increase their range and improve other operational characteristics.
- No noise pollution. Drones emit less noise and their use in residential areas is not disruptive.
- Cost savings. UAV utilization provides huge cost savings as compared to traditional grid inspection methods.
Taking these aspects into account UAVs have transformed power line inspection. Inspecting grid infrastructure is no longer a daunting, expensive task that requires lots of advanced planning. Small inspector teams can be equipped with drones for inspection. Furthermore, drones can be airborne in mere minutes. Depending on the equipment, UAVs can analyze grid sectors for different discrepancies in one fly.
UAV INSPECTION VIDEO ANALYSIS
UAV operators bring home lots of video footage after each flight. The footage analysis – not the aerial inspection itself – has become the bottleneck of efficient UAV inspection operations.
“While UAVs have revolutionized the way power grid infrastructure is inspected in the field, back home the footage is mostly still analyzed by human operators” – notes CEO of EasyFlow Simas Jokubauskas .
EasyFlow – a Computer Vision specialist company – develops AI video analytic applications for construction, manufacturing, and retail sectors. Recently the company expanded its EasyFlow software offering to accommodate UAV operations.
EasyFlow software suite provides specialized models for power grid inspection analysis, including identification of defects, detection of overgrowth, and other prerequisites for safe power infrastructure operations. Also, the specialist model training takes the operator’s infrastructure into account – the inspection models can be adapted to fit the particular inspection task per client requirements.
Besides, EasyFlow provides services to end clients, as well as third-party UAV operations, no matter where they are located. The client simply uploads the UAV footage into EasyFlow platform and receives an inspection report.
“Our experience in AI and Computer Vision allows UAV operators to enjoy the benefits of latest technological developments – so they can focus on flying” – notes Mr. Jokubauskas.
Looking for a UAV power line inspection partner? Get in touch!