Use Case 3

Use Case 3

Power Line Surveillance via Swarm of Drones

Power line surveillance is essential for all high and medium power line operators. Today, most of inspections are carried out with aerial methods with the use of both helicopters and ground patrols. However, the introduction of drones for power line surveillance is still in embryotic state. Although, using a swarm of drones presents the obvious benefit of reducing the total time required to scan the entire power line infrastructure, there are still significant challenges. The foremost challenge is drone autonomy. Performing high quality image-taking is energy consuming which results in the frequent return of drones to their base station for recharging. In turn, the image analysis is performed offline after drones return to base without any indication if the images are sufficient. If not, the drone must repeat the same flight plan. Moreover, although a swarm is used, currently drones do not communicate to coordinate routing alteration, image exchanging, terrain overlapping avoidance, etc. In addition, surveillance of critical infrastructure, such as power grid in this scenario, requires data protection, high performance, optimized resource allocation, energy reduction and specific restrictions. The main innovation of the use case is to move data processing on board. Thus, coordination of routing alteration, image exchanging, terrain overlapping avoidance, etc. can lead to higher energy autonomy and monitoring capacity while reducing overlapping during image gathering process.

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