Flying, remote-controlled cameras are now identifying and assessing the condition of elevated assets more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), designed by Electrix, provide a mechanism for inspecting difficult to reach sites, such as poles located in water and areas with access issues. The technology intends to help minimise customer disruption by reducing the need for intrusive door-knocking and communication pieces, such as notice cards.
After the severe weather events of April, a spokesperson for Electrix said distribution clients highlighted the need to inspect poles and complete line patrols in difficult conditions such as high fire days and after storms.
“In the past, deluge left behind after storms meant electrical workers weren’t able to gain access to sites that needed to be assessed, so it made sense to look to a device that could fly over obstacles,” the spokesperson said.
“The new technology is also valuable in environmentally sensitive areas, preventing impact on endangered species and wildlife. It also reduces the risk for workers by preventing unnecessary interaction with aggressive animals and lifestock, and the risks and damage associated with accessing assets through crops and long grass.
UAV’s can also help prevent the dangers associated with travelling through construction or mining sites to inspect and assess buildings, structures, plant and equipment.
The fleet is fitted with high-resolution digital cameras to capture detailed images of pole top structures and hardware, as well as thermal images for detection of hotspots and overloaded equipment. Each image is data stamped and incorporates GPS co-ordinates for asset mapping.