Driving innovation in power line inspections: Airpelago's successful proof of concept project with Electricity North West and Phase One in England
In March 2023, Airpelago successfully completed a proof of concept project for Electricity North West in the north of England, in collaboration with Phase One, a Danish company specializing in high-end digital photography equipment and software, and our inspection and software analytics partner, eSmart Systems. Our talented colleagues, Tobias Fridén and Philip Anderberg, captured inspection images of 130 steel towers on the transmission network in under 22 hours of operating time with meticulous attention to detail using Airpelago Power and the DJI M300 equipped with the Phase One P3 Payload operating using pre-programmed flight patterns to maximize the efficiency and consistency of the image capture.
Dan Wilson, Asset Analytics Manager at Electricity North West Limited, said “Gathering detailed information about the condition of our overhead lines is essential to maintaining safety and planning investment. We would historically have conducted these types of inspections using a helicopter or by climbing the towers, so this project with eSmart and Airpelago has demonstrated the feasibility of using drones combined with advanced software to conduct these inspections, reducing the disturbance to our customers living around the lines, our environmental impact, and the safety risk inherent in working at height or operating aircraft around overhead lines.”
Fridén, CTO at Airpelago, commented, "This project confirms the readiness of our software to expand its capabilities beyond distribution lines to include high-quality inspections of transmission lines." Anderberg, Developer at Airpelago, added, "Additionally, this project demonstrates our preparedness to enter the international market alongside our trusted inspection and analytics partner." Throughout the project, we had the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the landscapes, experience the ever-changing English weather, and encounter numerous curious sheep along the way.
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