Developing a Drone Based Inspection Program with Georgia Transmission
Late this fall we worked with our long time customer Georgia Transmission on testing out several approaches to comprehensive visual inspection to determine the optimal flight plans and data collection strategy for their drone inspection program. Georgia Transmission (GTC) is an electric membership co-operative owned by the 38 Georgia EMCs it serves. They are responsible for planning, building and maintaining high-voltage transmission lines and substations that carry power from generation facilities to the local EMC.
Just north of Atlanta we worked on several 138KV circuits representing a variety of geography and structure types. As part of the project we utilized several flight plans for the inspection of supporting structures as well as span conductors and hardware. In addition, we performed a detailed right of way patrol that can be used as a faster and more economic inspection alternative. The tradeoff being the level of detail of issues that can be detected.
One of the added benefits GTC is seeing from the unmanned inspection approach is collecting historical data on their infrastructure that can be used to build historical trends and confirm issues that arise in the future. Our automated flight plans helped maintain consistency in the quality of the variety of data each method collected.
This is just another example of how to integrate drones into inspection programs. Our vision is to use automated, drone based inspection software to improve safety and cost efficiency while reducing outages and liability. You can learn more at aeriosense.com