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 New technology for ultra-smooth polymer films
28.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP

nachricht Diamond watch components
18.06.2018 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>