Honeywell’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) inspection service helped Ozarks Electric Cooperative inspect more than 100 miles of power lines in five days. Opting for UAVs saved time, reduced the risk to employees, and collected more data than traditional methods. Covering the same distance using these methods would have included at least 15 employees working on foot on one day with a helicopter.
Ozarks Electric Cooperative's utility grid spans mountains, rivers and valleys in the Ozarks Mountains, which make it challenging to access transmission lines.
Honeywell's UAV service utilizes a three-step process to conduct inspections and deliver data analytics. During the first phase, Honeywell works with the customer to plan the inspection and finalize the UAV's flight plan, ensuring it complies with Federal Aviation Administration regulations. Next, Honeywell's UAV pilots perform the inspection using autonomous flight management software, capturing thousands of images and raw data along the way. Finally, the imagery is run through Honeywell's data analytics software, which is specially designed to sort, organize, and tag the inspection data. This software uses machine-learning algorithms to identify potential hazards, such as vegetation encroachment or hardware defects, and prioritizes them based on how urgently they need attention. Once this process is complete, all of the imagery and findings are delivered to the customer via a web portal that they can access in the field or back in the office.
Ozarks Electric Cooperative serves five counties in Arkansas and four counties in Oklahoma, encompassing a 75,000-meter service area and more than 6,700 miles of power lines.