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Fully automated inspections of power lines with drones

Last week the Airpelago team completed a fully automated inspection of a power line asset in Sweden. The grid consists of 150 km of power lines at various gauges, mainly medium voltage. The operation was automated using Airpelago’s software and the drone models used were DJI Matrice 300 RTK, DJI Mavic 2 Pro, and DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced.

Fully automated inspections of power lines with drones

The project has been very successful, says Tobias Fridén, CTO at Airpelago. Despite the challenging weather conditions this time of the year we managed to achieve good overall efficiency and gathered high-quality data of every pole. The large amount of data that we collected will now be analyzed by our partner SkyQraft.

"Everyone in the industry struggles to make drone inspections efficient and cost-effective. Our software and processes solve that through standardization and automation, increasing efficiency by five to ten times, measured in inspected km per pilot and day, says Max Hjalmarsson, CEO at Airpelago.

During the last weeks' operations, we gathered RGB- and LIDAR-data. These operations were the first two of three parts of this project. We are now preparing for the next part which will begin in March or April next year. We will then inspect the same asset again, but with higher levels of detail, and hopefully with the same or higher efficiency.

Lidar data from automated inspections of power lines with drones
“I am impressed with Airpelago’s achievements and results. Using drones for the inspection of power lines is more sustainable than the conventional methods. When automated, it’s also cost-efficient and generates better data that helps us predict and plan our maintenance work. I believe drones will soon be the new conventional method for inspecting power lines", says Per Sundqvist, Chief Maintenance Engineer at EON Sverige.
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