Schiebel, FLIR and Transpower are proud to announce the successful demonstration of the Schiebel CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) with the integrated FLIR Corona 350 Sensor being used to inspect high voltage power-lines and supporting structures. This event marked the first time that this new capability was demonstrated using a UAS.
Transpower with the support of the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority hosted a series of demonstrations at the Drury substation in Auckland, New Zealand, where the outstanding combination of the CAMCOPTER® S-100 and the FLIR sensor confirmed the system’s ability to identify encroaching vegetation and activity associated with underbuilding, corrosion and wear and tear damage on power-line conductors as well as ‘hot spots’ in conductors and connection points.
The system also demonstrated the clear benefits of its rapid response time, and the ability to subsequently use the collected information to quickly prioritise and target maintenance, which are particularity important in the rapid rectification of fault events causing line outages.
With a network which comprises some 12,000 kms of transmission lines and 40,000 supporting structures throughout New Zealand and a requirement to regularly assess the condition of these lines and structures to ensure continued safety and integrity of the National Grid. By operating in close proximity to the power lines the S-100 was able to conduct the inspections without infringing existing airspace regulations and clearly demonstrated the value of this new, innovative and cost effective solution for accomplishing airborne power line inspection.
Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group, commented, “This successful demonstration of the CAMCOPTER® S-100 has clearly shown how it provides a swift, accurate and cost effective capability for reducing the costs associated with conducting power-line inspections and maintenance”.