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 Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world
08.02.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS

nachricht New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components
23.01.2017 | Evonik Industries AG

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>