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AI-powered UAVs for power network inspection

9th October 2019


Terra Drone has launched a new UAV and AI-based solution set for the maintenance of power transmission and distribution equipment. The solution was developed based on the market gaps identified after inspecting over 90,000 km of power lines by BVLOS throughout the world.

 
Acquired data is automatically processed and analysed by artificial intelligence algorithms which are trained to detect crossovers at the bottom of transmission lines, buildings and construction machinery. 
 
The system identifies rust on bolts, loosening, and missing tower parts, bird’s ness, etc, and generates a smart report, highlighting the areas that require action. The error (identified anomaly) detection system is accurate up to 92.5 per cent. The algorithm is developed through a process identifying anomalies in a training data set of approximately 1500 images, this allows for a custom solution to be created for the end client where all pertinent anomalies are identified and reported. The development and training of the algorithm only need to be completed once for a particular type of asset and can be implemented easily at different locations on similar assets.
 
With such a high-precision algorithm, the productivity of AI processing allows for fast actionable results to be provided. Clients also have the ability to identify the appropriate security protocols for data storage in either a cloud-based or on-premises storage environment. These protocols can then be implemented in a custom client-specific solution.
 
Power transmission and distribution companies must conduct periodic inspections of power line infrastructure to ensure reliable electric power distribution, although the conventional methods of deploying ground staff or low-flying helicopters to complete the inspections, they are typically cost-prohibitive. Conventional helicopter and boots-on-the-ground service also pose HSE concerns with low flying helicopters and people working in the field. UAV service and AI inspection can aid in minimising HSE concerns by reducing the number of workers in the field and eliminate low level manned helicopter missions.
 
 
 


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