It is the only one: IDGC of Centre’s power engineers taught the drone to think and analyze

11 April 2019

IDGC of Centre completes the development of a “smart” drone. The aircraft with artificial intelligence was created for the survey of power lines. It will be able to independently identify twenty varieties of defects without human intervention: damage to the pole, the threat of a tree falling on a line, destruction of insulators, etc. The drone takes off on its own, flies 40 kilometres, lands at the charging station, analyzes the detected defects.

“One of the advantages of our development is that the intellectual system sends information about violations immediately to the appropriate service. That is, a particular electrician receives a message describing the defect and its coordinates and immediately goes to fix it. The response time is reduced at least three times. If a serious problem appeared on the line that threatens power supply, the alarm immediately goes to the branch’s management,” explained Dmitry Rybnikov, Deputy Chief Engineer for Technological Development and Innovations of IDGC of Centre.

Trials took place in the Lipetsk region. A test flight was conducted along the Dobroye 110 kV overhead line. The UAV discovered a car in the security zone of the overhead line, photographed the intruder, informed the control centre of its coordinates, forwarded the photo and created a 3D model of the detected violation with all the measurements taken. In addition, the accuracy of landing the aircraft at the charging station with strong wind was developed. The drone can perform its work with gusts up to 25 m/s.

“The maximum result at the lowest cost is the effect that gives the digital transformation, part of which is an aircraft with artificial intelligence. To identify, for example, the destruction of one of insulators in the high-voltage line string, an aerial, a crew of electricians and several hours of working time are needed. The drone will do it in an hour at no additional cost, and our specialists will be able to engage in repairs and construction. And, importantly, the defect will be identified before any problems with the power supply. Thus, thanks to modern technologies, the quality and reliability of electricity supply in the region will increase many times,” explained the essence of the changes Sergey Koval, IDGC of Centre - Lipetskenergo division director.

It is assumed that two unique aircraft will arrive in Lipetskenergo in September this year. They will inspect high-voltage lines on an ongoing basis.

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