Cyberhawk has launched a new steelwork bar by bar transmission and distribution tower inspection solution to meet National Grid Technical Standard NG TS 3.04.31 which combines drone collected data, engineering analysis and cloud based asset management software.
This solution has now been utilised by multiple transmission network operators (TNO) and distribution network operators (DNO) in the UK with validation and verification against traditional climbing inspections.
Using iHawk, Cyberhawk’s visual asset management software, a new Bar-By-Bar inspection module has been developed for delivering tower inspection results in a bar-by-bar format.
UAV data collection
Using an experienced two-man team, consisting of a trained drone pilot and an inspection engineer, Cyberhawk collects a complete visual record of each tower, using high definition images with a consistent data collection plan. The drone inspection covers the condition of the full tower including foundations, fixtures, steel work, conductors and earthwire. As well as a close visual inspection, the team also takes ground shots and sag height measurement of any conductors which appear to be low, which meets the requirements of an Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations (ESQCR) inspection.
Standard inspection reporting
Using this information, Cyberhawk completes an initial condition inspection, whereby the tower is graded using a 1-4 defect severity scoring system. These results are sent to the client using iHawk, our cloud based, asset management software. iHawk allows users to view the status of their asset portfolio at a glance, prioritise repair, maintenance and replacement and view detailed engineering analysis associated with all identified defects.
Once the client has reviewed these results there are two options; the steel work condition of all towers can be assessed in detail, or just the towers where the condition inspection has indicated potential problems. A bar-by-bar steel work inspection is then completed to the National Grid Technical Standard NG TS 3.04.31, using a 1-6 scoring system.
There are numerous benefits of this bar-by-bar steel work inspection solution.
- Safety improvements- using the drone to collect detailed imagery, removes the need for people to work at height to collect data.
- Cost savings - not only does the drone collect data faster and more efficiently than a climbing inspection, but data can also be collected while the line is live, removing the need for an outage.
- Reduced site visits - once the drone has collected data on the tower, multiple assessments can be made including condition inspection, ESCQR inspection and bar-by-bar inspection. This means multiple visits to site are not required, as one high quality data set provides all the information required.
- Data quality and evidence of condition - with a complete photographic record of the tower, rather than selected images from climbing inspections, there is high quality visual imagery behind every steel bar grade and thus evidence behind decision making.
- iHawk, visual asset management software - the user interface on our software has been designed so that it is simple to use, easily navigated and provides easily accessible, detailed visual data.
Verification and validation
Multiple TNOs and DNOs have compared Cyberhawk’s drone captured bar by bar inspection results with traditional climbing inspection data for the same towers. On all occasions there were discrepancies between the two results, however on all occasions, because the drone captured a complete visual record of the tower, there is a high definition image of each bar with a condition rating which allows for a full validation of the Cyberhawk inspection.
Cyberhawk have completed tower inspection for the majority of the TNOs/DNOs in the UK and Ireland with projects also completed in mainland Europe, North and South America.
Figure 1: Bar-by-Bar module overview page
Figure 2: Bar-by-Bar elevation page
Figure 3: Bar-by-Bar image page