Measure, the largest U.S. provider of drone services to enterprise customers, today announced a new drone toolkit that enables electrical utilities to build a professional drone inspection program staffed by their own linemen. The package trains and equips linemen to quickly and safely identify structural defects and damage on transmission lines, towers and substations, making it possible to examine known or suspected trouble spots without the time, expense and risk of mobilizing a helicopter or physically climbing a pole or tower to perform an inspection.
The Utility Toolkit complements Measure’s professional drone inspection services for critical infrastructure, including a robust new reporting suite with FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program),-approved cloud storage allowing operations managers to access detailed, user-friendly inspection information on each asset through a secure online portal.
Developed by linemen for linemen, the toolkit facilitates the process of identifying high-priority defects ranging from damaged insulators, poles and conductors to broken ground wires, broken cross arms, missing aerial numbers, and downed trees. Detailed image capture allows linemen to zero in on problem areas and instantly pinpoint maintenance issues from a ground control flight app in the field.
Toolkit components include:
- A ready-to-fly drone
- Comprehensive training specifically designed for inspecting transmission, distribution and other critical infrastructure while avoiding electromagnetic interferences and managing safety protocols
- Measure Ground Control™, a pre-installed flight control application that makes flying around infrastructure automated and repeatable
- Ongoing subscription-based support, including weekly reports on pilot and equipment activity to ensure safe flight procedures and proper maintenance of drone equipment
- An on-demand helpdesk, available either from a hotline or the service’s web portal, to assist linemen with in-field troubleshooting, regulatory assistance and program management advice
Professional Pilot Inspections & Reporting
For electrical power generation facilities that prefer to outsource drone inspections to Measure’s expert pilots, the company has developed easy-to-understand reporting tools that can be accessed through a secure online portal as well as in real time through a mobile app for emergency response situations.
With Measure’s online portal, operations managers can review the inspection results on a FedRAMP-approved cloud storage system. A geographic layer provides a quick visual of inspected infrastructure, with details including images of the asset as well as longitude, latitude, inspection status, damage type and pilot notes available with a tap. The portal provides a comprehensive historical record of all inspections as well as a statistical view of the severity of defects and maintenance issues identified.
In instances when real-time reporting is required, such as during storm response activities, Measure’s mobile app enables information sync between field inspections and emergency repair work. The real-time feedback assists utilities in managing the repair work efficiently and restoring power to their customers quickly. The system also features customizable dropdowns and is compatible with iOS, Android and Microsoft devices.
The AES Corporation, one of the nation’s leading power generation companies, and Measure have worked to develop these solutions over the past year. “AES has been able to identify potential equipment issues using Measure’s drone aerial footage of our transmission assets,” said Jessica Franklin, Transmission Operations, Indianapolis Power and Light, an AES subsidiary. “The use of drone technology allows us to quickly identify these issues without taking an outage. This benefit extends to the reduction of hazardous man-hours as well.”
“Our drone programs make it possible for electrical utilities to reduce corrective maintenance costs, improve asset life, and expedite the process of restoring power after a natural disaster,” said Harjeet Johal, Measure Vice President of Energy Infrastructure. “Whether you’re using our Utility Toolkit to give linemen a valuable new tool in their truck or our expert drone pilots to do the work for you, we offer powerful new strategies for helping to keep the electrical grid up and running safely, efficiently and cost-effectively.”
More information is at http://www.measure.com/industry-drone-solutions-energy