Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Flying eyes to keep the power flowing

21.08.2003


Three-dimensional display of the trees, the powerpoles and powerlines


Major blackouts such as those that hit North America last week can result from combinations of relatively small problems, such as trees growing too close to powerlines, according to Kevin Cryan, Business Development Manager with CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences.

"There seem to have been a number of factors that led to the recent disastrous blackouts but it’s been reported that one incident involved an overheated powerline sagging and making contact with trees," says Mr Cryan.

The answer to reducing this threat could well lie in technology developed by CSIRO.



A pair of small cameras attached to the wings of an aeroplane form the basis of a unique system which actually measures the distances between powerlines and trees from the air.

The beauty of this technology is that hundreds of kilometres of powerlines can be inspected in a single flight, an operation that would take far longer by conventional means, Mr Cryan says.

Usually, powerlines are inspected by field teams that drive around and check clearances manually. When problems are found, maintenance crews can be sent to remedy the situation.

"As there are thousands of kilometres of powerlines stretching across the country, this is no small undertaking. Access to remote areas can be difficult and the associated costs are high," says Mr Cryan

Power companies in Australia and most other developed countries are required to maintain a clearance space around powerlines.

The CSIRO system combines stereo computer vision technology with a Geographic Information System (GIS) and special software that can process information to create three dimensional images.

"The planes fly over the powerlines, gathering visual data and the GIS determines the precise location at any moment. The software processes the image data into 3D, identifying powerlines, poles and nearby trees and then measures the distances between them," Mr Cryan says.

"Deploying this technology involves obvious costs but these need to be weighed against the consequences of catastrophic failures like the one last week."

Trees interfering with powerlines is not just a problem in terms of blackouts - it can also cause bushfires.

"This technology gives us is the ability to know that we have a problem before it causes a bushfire or a downed line or unhappy customers. It means a team can be sent directly to a potential problem area before the risks get too high," says Mr Cryan.

The technology is now at the stage where it is ready for commercialisation.

"It may well be that, rather than each power company wanting to monitor its own lines in this way, a more efficient business model would be for someone to provide this as a service to all companies," Mr Cryan says.


More information:
Kevin Cryan, CSIRO, 02 9325 3242, mobile: 0418 115 774
Email: kevin.cryan@csiro.au

Media Assistance:
Tom McGinness, CSIRO, 02 9325 3227, mobile: 0419 419 210
Email: tom.mcginness@csiro.au

Rosie Schmedding | CSIRO
Further information:
http://www.csiro.au/index.asp?type=mediaRelease&id=PrGIS

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Fraunhofer researchers develop measuring system for ZF factory in Saarbrücken
21.11.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP

nachricht New manufacturing process for SiC power devices opens market to more competition
14.09.2017 | North Carolina State University

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water cooling for the Earth's crust

23.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nano-watch has steady hands

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Batteries with better performance and improved safety

23.11.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>