Siemens has announced “SIEAERO” at the European Utility Week 2018 in Vienna, Austria. Touted as next generation overhead line inspection, it’s the first system that will make use of artificial intelligence (AI) and a long-range UAV.
Siemens says SIEAERO leverages smart analytics software, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to store, manage and analyze all data into one integrated system. Apart from decreasing the number of flights and inspection efforts drastically, this technology will reduce the time for flight execution and data analysis from weeks or even months to a few days.
“SIEAERO is a gamechanger in overhead line inspection because we are using digitalization to bring services for our customers to the next level”, said Mirko Düsel, CEO Transmission Solutions at Siemens’ Energy Management Division. “Everything, from planning and performing inspection flights, managing and analyzing the gathered data to report generation and long-term data archiving, is more cost-efficient with SIEAERO – and it provides better and faster results on top.”
With more than 200,000 kilometers (km) of overhead lines transmitting power to households and industries In North America and Europe alone, overhead line inspection is estimated to be a billion Euro market. These lines need regular inspection to avoid failures. Presently, TSOs inspect their power lines with helicopters at least once a year.
Using SIEAERO, uses CAMCOPTER® S-100, a high-performance long-range UAV for beyond visual line-of-sight operation with a high pay load capacity. The S-100 carries the SIEAERO high-end multi-sensor system.
Schiebel Group, a Vienna-based company, is supplying the CAMCOPTER® S-100 UAVs and is involved in R&D activities as well. The S-100 has a flight distance up to 200km and a sensor load capacity of 50 kg. Siemens has partnered with Lufthansa Aerial Services for the operation of UAVs. Lufthansa will perform the SIEAERO inspection flights globally.
Since all necessary sensors and cameras are combined in one multi-sensor system, all relevant inspection data are recorded in one go, making SIEAERO much faster and more cost-efficient than conventional services. The extensive multi-sensor data generated during the flights is handled by the SIEAERO smart data analytics software. The documentation of the complete lines as well as the relevant findings and results can be directly integrated into the customers’ existing asset management systems. These are relevant for trend monitoring and preventive maintenance.
The 3D LIDAR Sensors used in SIEAERO have 120 dots per m2, while industry standard is roundabout 30 dots per m². Moreover, SIEAERO uses five cameras with 100 megapixels each, and its multi-sensor system also includes infrared and corona sensors.
Currently most countries do not allow the operation of UAVs beyond visual line of sight. However, once national regulations change, SIEAERO will be able to use the CAMCOPTER® S-100 globally.