Drone technology has evolved quickly over the past seven years. Just before that, however the technology experienced a so-called “Trough of Disillusionment,” a stage within a new technology’s “hype curve.” Many industries, including electric utilities, found that some of the promises and expectations of UAV technology were inflated, and that the results and performance originally hoped for were not immediately possible. Today, expectations of UAV’s are again on the upward trend as focused use cases start to show tangible benefits. As a result, more real life performance data emerges allowing for go/no-go decisions. …

I often get asked “what’s the difference between helicopter versus drone inspections” when it comes to transmission line inspections?

Before we breakdown the benefits of autonomous drone inspections, I would like to add that helicopters are crucial for the electric power industry and do have their place in inspecting and maintaining transmission lines. Many helicopter pilots and their crew risk their lives in ensuring that we have a reliable and dependable power grid.

A Sikorsky Skycrane installing a transmission pole. Image courtesy of PSEG flicker photostream.

However, drones can now provide better overall data at significantly lower costs with a higher safety margin depending on the required level of detail in the work…

In 2020, Innergex partnered with Aeriosense to perform a detailed inspection of 42 km of its transmission line that connects the East Toba hydroelectric plant in the Toba Valley to the BC Hydro power grid near Saltery Bay. With an annual energy output of 454,000 MWh, it is one of Innergex’s largest projects. Understandably, it is crucial for them to make sure that the transmission line is reliable and in good condition.

A transmission line on a steep hill

Challenges — Difficult Terrain and Vegetation

Much of the line is located in remote areas, on steep slopes with cliffs, creeks and rockfalls frequently intersecting the right of way. The vast majority of supporting…

Aeriosense is proud of its software that allows drones to autonomously inspect and photograph the power corridors and infrastructure of electric utilities.

Still, for a big project, even an intelligent drone is not enough. Someone has to plan the job, hire staff, ensure safety procedures are followed and basically take responsibility.

During Aeriosense’s inspection of lines in British Columbia’s southern interior last summer, that someone was Thomas Jimenez. He’s chief pilot and owner of Can-UAS, a drone services company in Squamish. Thanks to Aeriosense’s software, pilots like Jimenez don’t have to do much piloting. …

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone at Aeriosense! We hope that despite all of the challenges of this year, you and you loved ones are happy and healthy during this joyous time. Here at Aeriosense, even our drones are getting into the Christmas spirit.

Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!

Our drones are well equipped to perform inspections even in freezing weather. In our most recent project with FortisBC a winter storm inundated us with snow part way through. However, we were prepared for this possibility and continued the inspection.

At Aeriosense it’s our mission to improve the reliability and safety of infrastructure. And we want to accomplish that while keeping the well-being and safety of our employees, contractors, and clients as the top priority. Working with unmanned aerial vehicles and high-voltage infrastructure has a set of unique safety challenges, but the protocol which we follow minimizes risks and ensures that everyone gets home safely at the end of the day.

As recognition for our commitment to creating a safe working environment, Aeriosense has achieved multiple certificates and awards. The occupational health and safety management system which we implemented has…

An observer standing beneath a FortisBC transmission line structure in B.C.’s southern interior this fall might have noticed a small black drone confidently approaching as it followed the power line. When it neared the structure, it would stop to hover a few metres away.

And start its dance.

Drone powerline inspection: A broken damper

Nimbly flying by each individual insulator, approaching the wooden crossarms and even inspecting the guy wires while deftly avoiding the power cables, it would finally pick up speed and dart to the next pylon to do it all over again.

Aeriosense Technologies hopes to change at least one thing about this scene…

This story was originally published by Geoff Zeiss from Between the Poles. Link: https://geospatial.blogs.com/geospatial/2020/05/automated-drone-systems-improve-power-line-inspections-and-reduce-costs.html

Transmission line inspections are mandatory in North America. Traditionally helicopters are used for these inspections, but with helicopters the risk of accidents is significant and helicopters are costly to maintain and operate. Drone inspections dramatically reduce the risk of accidents. Aeriosense Technologies has developed an automated drone inspection system that can reduce the cost of inspections by up to 55%.


Transmission line inspections are essential in ensuring grid reliability and resilience. They are generally performed by manned helicopters or by a ground crew. Data may be…

During a recent project we helped BC Hydro perform a condition assessment of a transmission line which included a unique crossing support structure. This was a great opportunity not only to get spectacular views of British Columbia coastline, but also to demonstrate another use case for drone inspections of hard to reach structures.

Because this structure supports a transmission line crossing a 2 mile wide inlet, it needs to be very tall — around 500ft, to allow enough conductor clearance for marine traffic. It is also located on a rugged bluff accessible only by hiking in. …

COVID-19 has been an unparalleled crisis in modern history. People, governments and business around the world are adapting to our rapidly changing reality. We are all in this together and Aeriosense is here to support our clients and do our part to help the society in the fight against this deadly virus.

The power grid is of vital importance to modern society. This is more evident that ever right now with hospitals and emergency services operating at full capacity. To minimize the risks of power failure, inspections are needed to catch any issues or defects before they cause an outage.


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