Utility companies are always looking for safer and more efficient ways to inspect and maintain their power lines. While some still use traditional inspection methods, such as helicopters or climbing poles, they pose a significant risk to workers. Moreover, these methods are costly and time-consuming. However, the rise of drone technology has made power pole inspections faster, cost-effective, and, most importantly, safer.
Drones have high-resolution cameras and thermal imaging sensors to quickly and accurately detect power pole issues. This allows utility companies to take action faster, preventing outages that cost American businesses around $150 billion per year.
But how exactly do utility companies use drones to inspect their power lines, and are there any benefits? Find out more below.
Drones improve efficiency in power pole inspections
Imagine how long it will take to climb from one pole to another, inspecting power poles and other utility infrastructure. It may seem sensible when covering a small area, but it’s definitely impractical for a large area.
Drones can make power inspections easier and effortless. They can cover a large area in a short amount of time, minimizing the costs and time associated with inspections.
Some drones use AI to help power utilities get results faster. For instance,
- Automated flight planning: Mile High drones use AI-powered software to automate flight planning for power pole inspection. The software creates flight paths covering the entire inspection area, ensuring no poles are missed. Moreover, the technology may adjust flight paths based on real-time data to ensure the drone operates safely and efficiently.
- Object detection: Mile High drones use AI to automatically identify power poles and other objects in drone images. Therefore, you won’t need to manually inspect every drone image, which speeds up the inspection process.
- Data analysis: Power grid operators rely on data analysis to detect defects that would be undetected by the naked eye. AI-powered software allows Mile High drones to analyze data collected, identifying trends and patterns.
Mile High drones help improve data accuracy in Power Pole Inspections
Data accuracy is an essential aspect of power pole inspections and maintenance. Data inaccuracies can result in improper maintenance schedules or missed maintenance altogether. This could lead to increased downtime, safety risks, and reduced customer satisfaction.
Traditional power pole inspections are prone to errors and data inaccuracies. However, drone technology uses various strategies to help improve data accuracy during power pole inspections.
- High-resolution cameras: The high-resolution cameras on Mile High drones capture detailed images of power poles, allowing electricity utility companies to detect even the most minor defects in the poles. Also, the high-resolution photos ensure the data collected is accurate and reliable.
- Thermal imaging sensors: Mile High drones use thermal imaging sensors to detect temperature variations that could signal issues with power poles. This allows utilities to take necessary action, preventing serious problems.
Additionally, Mile High drones help improve geographic information system (GIS) data accuracy. For instance, drones can tell the precise locations of poles. In case of a power issue, the utility company knows precisely the pole’s location and can quickly dispatch teams to address the issue.
Moreover, drones help utility companies to understand and maintain their inventory—they can quickly tell what equipment is on each pole.
There are multiple teams and operations in a utility company. Each group handles specific areas of the utility’s operations. Therefore, they all require customized reports to help speed up operations.
The drone technology can work across management, operations, and technical teams, providing customized reports that meet everyone’s needs. Each team received personalized reports based on their specific needs. For instance, the management will receive high-level summaries of inspection results and trends, while the technical reports will need reports on specific issues or defects.
Moreover, Mile High drones facilitate collaboration between teams by offering a central platform for accessing and analyzing inspection data.
As technology advances, we will likely see more drone technology improvements for power pole inspections. However, they’ll all be centered around effectiveness, efficiencies, and data accuracy.
Do you need a service provider for a power pole inspection? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.