Transmission Lines Inspection
Project developed by CESAR and the Aeronautics Technological Institute (ITA) in partnership with the Hydroelectric Company of São Francisco (CHESF) with the aim of developing a UAV that focused on transmission lines inspection. The goal was to use the planes to detect defects or non-compliance and thus subsidize the maintenance work. The intent is to make the service better and quicker, as well as to reduce costs.
In general, aerial inspection is made by manned helicopters, but the aerial robotics technology of UAVs can reduce operational costs. Moreover, the same technology can be applied to several other areas. Planes can fly over, in a pre-programmed trajectory, the area or equipment to be monitored, with a camera that shows the system in detail. It a fault is detected, a ground team is called to go to the precise location and make whichever repairs are necessary.
This experience consolidates CESAR among the main Brazilian research institutes in the development of Technologies of this kind. The aerial platform of the system is also able to fly through environments with strong winds. During flight, the plane captures images that enable visualization of its elements, such as cables, amendments, spacers and isolators. Whenever necessary, manoeuvres can be commanded by a remote station with a human pilot that has monitors that reproduce, in real time, the images captured by the cameras.
In the creation process, several drone Technologies were developed. The operation and maintenance of such systems demanded a technical training of the team involved in the project. Many approaches were tested and vehicles counting with different Technologies were made available. For each of those, characteristics such as fuel, vibration level and autonomy were taken into account. With this project, we could make equipments that fulfilled the prospect requirements and validate recent, under development, technologies. The creation of real-time control systems puts the team in a high level of technological innovation.
Inspection tests on Power Transmission lines were carried out with four prototypes and the requirements were fulfilled, thus validating different UAV technological approaches.