Oct 18 2016

Powerline asset inspection: Are you capturing the right data?

Powerline asset inspection: Are you capturing the right data?

AAM’s one-pass inspection reduces network maintenance costs and mitigates risk

Assessing the condition of transmission and distribution power lines is costly. Which is why you need, a cost effective way to inspect your power line assets that captures all the data needed for asset condition, and vegetation management.

Old, ground-based methods are not objective, auditable, reliable, timely or cost-effective. But aerial inspections using multiple geo-referenced sensors, LiDAR, high resolution photography, video, ultraviolet and infrared capture all essential asset condition data in a single flight, including:

Corona faults
by UV – Corona camera

  • Insulator crack
  • Contamination
  • Corrosion
  • Poor grounding structures
  • Faulty composite
  • Design problem
  • Faulty material

Mechanical faults
by HD video/ still frames

  • Loose bolts
  • Missing isol. element
  • Cracks
  • Faulty spacers
  • Faulty dampers
  • Broken strands
  • Corrosion
  • Mast, pole construction
  • Missing signs
  • Missing tower members
  • Damage to foundation
  • ROW infringement

Overheat faults
by thermal infrared

  • Bad splices
  • Bad midspan Joints
  • Connections
  • Loops
  • Fittings

Visual faults
by aerial photography

  • Visual vegetation intrusion
  • Detailed land use
  • ROW infringement
  • Site access for field crews
  • Site context of lines

Distance faults
by LiDAR

  • Vegetation intrusion
  • Conductor clearances
  • Conductor separation
  • Create PLSCADD models

Reporting faults
by hardcopy or digital

  • Image and text fields
  • Email, web or cloud based
  • Input to Work Order system
  • Create Work Orders
  • Data provided for GIS
  • Asset records for GIS
  • PLSCADD modelling


With this data, network engineers perform the full range of inspections and analysis without leaving the office.

In addition to capturing all necessary inspection data in one pass, modern inspection techniques should meet ten criteria. Read more about this in AAM's article in ESDN magazine.

Find out more about AAM’s one-pass powerline inspection services.