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Powerline, Transmission Line & Substation Inspection with Drone and Mobile LiDAR Scanners

Powerline, transmission line and substation inspection with Drone and Terrestrial LiDAR is an effective way to identify potential issues before they impact your electrical infrastructure. LiDAR sensors can capture multiple echoes and provide accurate location and coordinates of electrical facilities, ground objects, and vegetation. Using LiDAR can also improve inspection efficiency. 

Benefits for LiDAR Transmission Line Inspection

Powerline, transmission line and substation inspection is a necessary step in power distribution infrastructure maintenance. It prevents outages by monitoring the infrastructure and identifying issues that could compromise the integrity of power lines. Power outages cause massive economic losses and threaten the natural ecosystem. In addition to short circuits, powerline inspection can also detect other power distribution anomalies that could threaten power quality.

Aerial systems equipped with LiDAR capture data from target areas of powerline, transmission line and substation infrastructure. These data are processed to create a 3D map & model that shows the distances between powerlines and surrounding vegetation. This mapping data allows operators to focus their efforts on the areas that pose the greatest threat to power lines. Because LiDAR is fast and accurate, operators can use it to detect sagging wires, dangerous trees, and other potential hazards.

Aerial mapping is another option for powerline inspection that is cost-effective and saves time. An aerial survey can map up to 50 km of transmission lines in a single day, saving grid operators time on the ground and reducing labor costs by up to 50%. Aerial mapping uses a full-frame camera and in-house algorithms to produce lidar-quality data.

Lidar technology has the ability to visualize powerlines and identify problems that can affect their safety. It is used to inspect high-voltage powerlines and detect any problems before they cause damage to the electrical network. It can also detect the presence of vegetation that could pose a risk to power lines. The use of lidar technology can help utility companies to minimize the costs and risks of power line inspection.

LiDAR power line inspection can help grid operators to map wire profiles, which is particularly important in regions with high traffic density and large machinery movement. These inspections also help grid operators to react to potential problems before they cause damage to the network. A single powerline span can be inspected in as little as ten minutes with a single technician or two.

Drones equipped with LiDAR can survey target areas and generate a 3D map that shows the distance between powerlines and vegetation. This allows operators to avoid clearing large areas and focus their efforts on the most dangerous areas. LiDAR is also used to detect sagging wires and potential tree fall.

LiDAR System for Powerline Inspection

LiDAR Solutions Australia possesses backpack, vehicle-mounted, and drone-based LiDAR scanning systems capable of operating under diverse site conditions. These systems are designed to meet efficiency, environmental, health, and safety (EHS), and data quality standards.

This flexibility allows for tailored data collection strategies that adapt to specific project needs, ensuring that all operations are conducted with optimal precision and safety. The various deployment options provided by LiDAR Solutions Australia enable comprehensive coverage and high-resolution data acquisition, essential for detailed analysis and decision-making in a range of industries.


Site Photos:

LIMOBILE vehicle mounted lidar
Vehicle-mounted LiDAR Scanning System
Drone LiDAR Scanners
Backpack LiDAR Scanners

LiDAR Hardware Equipment for Powerline Inspection - Terrestrial Mobile LiDAR Scanning System

Comparing to the aerial LiDAR scanning system, the terrestrial LiDAR scanning equipment, such as backpack LiDAR scanning system or mobile LiDAR scanning system are closer to the powerline, which can deliver more intensive point cloud, and easier access to some locations, for example, the distribution line around suburbs. While the aerial LiDAR scanning system will have some path planning, flight control and safety concerns, especially, whent the distribution powerlines are on the streets or residential area. At these area, the backpack LiDAR and vehicle-mounted LiDAR system can have better field of view and the same time they don’t bring extra safety risk during scanning and raise residents’ privacy concerns. Learn more about the case studies with terrestrial LiDAR scanning equipment for powerline survey. 

Utility line modelling - Bendigo & Lorne with DGC50 - Backpack LiDAR Scanner

mobile lidar scanning in bendigo victoria

Project information

Location: North Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

Total length of powerline: about 3km;

Number of poles surveyed: 65

Site scanning duration: 1 day;

Scanning equipment: LiBackpack DGC50

Scanning purpose: distribution line modelling for NBN network;

Project information

Location: Lorne, Victoria, Australia

Total length of powerline: about 10km;

Number of poles surveyed: 210

Site scanning duration: 3 days;

Scanning purpose: distribution line modelling for NBN network;

Site Scanning with LiBackpack DGC50

LiDAR Solutions conducted the site scanning with DGC50 for designated routes and poles, and LiDAR Solutions also delivered the classified LiDAR point cloud data, including classes for ground points, vegetation, building, pole structure, conductor and communication service line. This allows our client to input this data into Neara for further design and assessment for installation NBN along the exsiting assets. 

Click HERE to download the sample of Data deliverables. 

lidar powreline survey classified point cloud
Classified Point Cloud

Powerline encrochment assessment - Flemington with LiMobile Vehicle-mounted LiDAR Scanner

Flemington mobile LiDAR scanner route

Project information

Location: Flemington, Victoria, Australia

Total length of powerline: about 7.5km;

Site scanning duration: 1 hour;

Scanning equipment: LiMobile

Scanning purpose: distribution line encrochment assessment;

Limobile vehicle-mounted lidar scanner for powerline inspection
Vehicle-mounted LiDAR Scanner for Utility Line Scanning On site

LiDAR Solutions conducted the site scanning with LiMobile encrochment assessment. Within 1 hour scanning time, we are able to collect more than 7km LiDAR data of Powerline, and with post processing of LiPowerline, we are able to generate an encrochment report, including the information:

  • Address;
  • Coordinates;
  • Dangerous point type, vegetation or building;
  • Horizontal, vertical and ground clearance;
  • The photos of dangerous points.

With this information, the powerline maintenance team is able to plan and execute site trimming operations to keep the powerlines safe. The screenshots of the report: 

lidar powerline inspection defect list
Dangerous points list
lidar powerline inspection defect list 2
lidar powerline inspection defect list 3
Details for each dangerous point

Solutions for Transmission Line LiDAR Inspection

LiDAR Hardware Equipment for Powerline Inspection - Drone & Helicopter Platform

LiDAR Hardware Equipment for Powerline Inspection - UAV or Drone Platform

LiAir 220N - Suitable for powerline with Wider Corridor

Key Features

High Scan Rate

1720,000 pts (Single Return )

,440,000 pts (Dual Return )

Better FoV

360° (Horizontal)

40° (Vertical)

High Commpatibility

This lightweight 3D surveying and
mapping payload was designed with DJI’s Matrice 600 Pro & DJI
M300 RTK series platforms.

point Cloud Density Chart - 220N

220N lidar powerline point cloud density

LiEagle - Suitable for Long Distance Inspections