3D Printing, Digitalization, Equipment & Technology, Europe, Smart Grid, Smart Grid T&D, T&D Infrastructure

Laserpas inspection reveals threats to section of Baltic power grid

Laserpas, a leading international Remotely Piloted Airborne System (RPAS) operator in the Baltic States, has completed a power grid inspection pilot project for one of the national transmission operators in the Baltics.

Without revealing the particular jurisdiction, the company states it has inspected a 330 kV power grid line spanning over 136,17 km, and uncovered over 1500 ‘suspicious and dangerous trees’, as well as more than 850 buildings threatening the security of the line.

Laserpas power grid inspectionProject executors employed several unique technologies including lidar scanning and nadir photography, as well as oblique cameras which have been integrated into a helicopter.

Information collected from the corridor was digitalized and converted into territorial maps which also contained layers of separate object classes (conductors, poles, trees, other vegetation, buildings, water, roads and etc.). Different layers assisted in identifying wider scope of possible risks. In addition, 3D models were also established. Generated from laser data, models were used to develop line profiles and calculate risks.

According to Mantas Vaskela, CEO of Laserpas, the project significantly complements the already published information on the Baltic overhead power line network.

“By using high zoom oblique cameras we were able to capture specific details including isolator cracks or grounding wire damage,” adds M. Vaskela. “Although, the line is in a relatively good shape, there are a number of safety threats within the line corridor. This fact alone serves to alert that that any power grid without exception is in need of constant monitoring.”

Laserpas team discovered what they referred to as 413 dangerous and 1199 suspicious trees, as well as 612 530 sq m of dangerous vegetation. In addition, 875 buildings are identified as located in officially forbidden zones and are considered as a serious security threat to both power line operator and inhabitants of the buildings. Photographs from the oblique camera also uncovered hazardous errors such as damaged insulators, cracked concrete, and traces of soil erosion.

Recently, Laserpas also conducted a powerline inspection project in Romania, discovering 50 kilometers of undocumented lines and other inaccuracies in data, as well as various security threats.

Laserpas is a member of Avia Solutions Group family – an international, publicly traded aviation holding company with over 20 subsidiaries worldwide.