Hyderabad: Telangana has successfully concluded the pilot of aerial survey of EHT transmission towers and lines using drones.
The project was aimed at leveraging drones and artificial intelligence to overcome the limitations of manual tower inspections, officials said on Tuesday.
The Emerging Technologies Wing of Telangana’s ITE&C Department initiated the project in partnership with Transmission Corporation of Telangana Limited (TS-TRANSCO), wherein a Hyderabad based startup named Centillion Networks demonstrated its capabilities in drone technology for inspection, monitoring and patrolling of EHT (extra high tension) transmission towers, lines, and substations with high quality 4K resolution camera and AI-based image recognition system.
The pilots were undertaken for inspection of EHT transmission line towers for 220 KV Chandrayagutta – Ghanapur line, 220 KV Shivarampally – Gachibowli line, 132 KV Minpur -Jogipet line, 220 KV Budidampadu – Waddekothapally line, and for another 10 towers. Centillion Networks had used drones fitted with high resolution cameras and the inspection of each tower was completed within 20 minutes.
The survey of the locations was conducted using drones and subsequently the tower inspection was conducted by Centillion Networks in the presence of officials from TS-TRANSCO and the ITE&C Department.
During the inspection, the high-resolution imagery from the drones and AI based feature identification was successfully demonstrated to the officials. The inspection reports were prepared for each tower and that included photos and videos along with the specification of exact issues, thereby suggesting actionable interventions.
It is estimated that automated inspections using drones can reduce the man-hours and costs by approximately 50 per cent, in addition to reducing the potential life risk that is posed by manual inspection of high-tension lines.
Further, the reports generated by drones help the department in resolving the issues quickly as per the specifications/manuals. The project is soon expected to be scaled up by TS-TRANSCO.
“Telangana is one of the leading states in leveraging drones across various use-cases, and the inspection of towers for TS-TRANSCO is one of the most innovative of them. The use of drones can both speed up the activities and reduce the hazards to humans in various situations such as this. With the new drone rules liberalising the sector, the adoption can be rapidly scaled,” said Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Government of Telangana.
Venkat Chundi, founder, Centillion networks Pvt Ltd & HC Robotics Pvt Ltd, said that tower inspection by Drones is useful for complete and accurate data collection and analysis. In addition, there is reduction in maintenance costs if there are periodic inspections.