Transforming power line inspections: From farmland to mountain terrain, a successful demonstration of Airpelago’s automated drones in France
The power distribution network in France spans over 1.3 million km of overhead lines, making it the largest network in Europe. To ensure reliable electricity delivery, regular inspections are crucial. By replacing helicopters with automated drones, we can save over 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually and detect up to five times more defects, leading to a higher quality grid and proactive maintenance.
In May 2022, we had the opportunity to showcase our solutions to a potential client in France, near Valence, south of Lyon. Valence is a picturesque city located along the Rhône river, surrounded by the Ardèche mountains. During the demonstration, we were granted access to approximately 100 km of power lines in diverse terrains, ranging from flat farmlands to steep hillsides.
The integration of geo-data and customized terrain models into our Airpelago Power software enabled fully automated drone inspections of the asset. On the first day of inspections in the flat farmlands, the drone captured six high-quality images of each pole from different angles, meeting our client's requirements. The software performed as expected and we were confident of successfully testing it in more challenging scenarios the following day.
The second day, we moved the operation to the Ardèche mountains, where we encountered steep terrain unlike any we had previously encountered during our inspection projects in Sweden. Despite the challenging conditions, our system performed well. Moreover, we were treated to breathtaking views amidst the beautiful French weather.
The demonstration concluded successfully, with the client recognizing the immense potential of our solution. We are eager to enter this new market and excited to take the first steps in introducing our innovative and eco-friendly power line inspection solution to other parts of the world.
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