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Terra Drone launches AI-based UAV solution for power lines

Photo: Terra Drone

Photo: Terra Drone

Terra Drone Corporation has launched a new UAV and artificial-intelligence (AI)-based solution designed for maintenance of power transmission and distribution equipment.

The solution was developed based on market gaps identified after inspecting more than 90,000 kilometers of power lines beyond visual line of site (BVLOS) throughout the world.

Acquired data is automatically processed and analyzed by artificial intelligence algorithms 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 nests and more. It then generates a smart report highlighting areas that require action. The error (identified anomaly) detection system is accurate up to 92.5%.

The algorithm for an area is developed through a process identifying anomalies in a training data set of 1,500 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 to clientele. 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.

Loosening and missing tower parts identified by high-accuracy detection system (Photo: Terra Drone)

Loosening and missing tower parts identified by high-accuracy detection system (Photo: Terra Drone)

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 minimizing HSE concerns by reducing the number of workers in the field and eliminate low level manned helicopter missions.

This solution has been built from ground up with the aim to simplify and streamline the maintenance work for transmission and distribution facilities.

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