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Power transmission lines inspection using properly equipped Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

Zormpas Alexandros, Moirogiorgou Konstantia, Kalaitzakis Konstantinos, Plokamakis George A., Partsinevelos Panagiotis, Giakos George C.

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Year 2018
Type of Item Conference Full Paper
Bibliographic Citation A. Zormpas, K. Moirogiorgou, K. Kalaitzakis, G. A. Plokamakis, P. Partsinevelos, G. Giakos and M. Zervakis, "Power transmission lines inspection using properly equipped Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)", in IEEE International Conference on Imaging Systems and Techniques, 2018. doi: 10.1109/IST.2018.8577142
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The inspection of power transmission lines is an important task that enhances the reliability of Electricity Distribution Network Operators. This task can be performed in a low-cost way using unmanned aircrafts. At the present study, we examine the effectiveness of using basic image processing methods on image data of the power lines acquired by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The specific UAV was assembled for the present work under the considerations that arise from the purpose of the inspection of power transmission lines. Two methodologies are proposed differing on the preprocessing required in order to detect the location of the lines on the video images. Both proposed methodologies were tested in real-world cases, with the image background in each case to be characterized of non-uniform texture, i.e., the natural terrain is rugged at some locations, wooded land at some other or it is road that appears at the same hue as the aerial power lines. We examined the case of a broken line where the methodologies result in successful detection of the power lines before and after the discontinuity of the power line. The proposed work offers a robust and low-cost way for the inspection of power transmission lines and so an effective way to detect the location where a cable fault has occurred.