Swissdrones has successfully completed a challenge set by French power line operator Réseau de Transport d’Électricité (RTE) that required an automated UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) inspection solution. The challenge formed part of RTE’s MOMARTE initiative, which seeks to modernise the company’s aerial assets.
Several different companies attempted the challenge, and of these only Swissdrones delivered the results required by RTE. The challenge required inspection drones to autonomously fly along a 1 to 2 km stretch of 400 kV power line between Éguzon and Rueyres and gather high-resolution imagery of the line. RTE had placed a strand of cut cable at a specific location on the line, and after the imagery gathered by Swissdrones was put through RTE’s automated inspection algorithms, the defect was clearly identifiable.
To accomplish this objective, Swissdrones used a small helicopter drone capable of carrying multiple payloads, including two 100 MP cameras and one 150 MP camera. The drone was preprogrammed with a specific flight plan. Swissdrones partnered with Phase One and GGS Solutions in the development of their UAV platform.
Watch a video about the power line inspection operation below: