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Transmission Line Inspections | Drone Tech

Utilizing Drone Tech  to conduct Transmission Quality Assurance & Quality Control Inspections

Picture from recent Transmission Inspection. Source: Sky Scape Industries

   To increase safety and efficiency in some of the country’s most critical infrastructure projects, Sky Scape deploys drone systems to obtain actionable data of critical assets. From periodic inspections to emergency response, the data is made available to clients quickly and accurately. Recently, Sky Scape was contracted to complete an inspection of a five mile electric transmission line.


The Application.

Screen Shot of GIS Processing of Drone Data collected during mission.

   The three different phase conductors, which were originally installed in the 1920's, were scheduled to be replaced. Due to distribution underbuild on the same pole line as well as critical road crossings, there was little room for error in the removal of the old line. Unfortunately, when line crews were removing the first section of conductor, it failed and caused damage to the distribution line below. SSI was brought in to complete an in depth analysis of conductors and equipment to identify any further potential points of failure. Once anomalies were detected and located, the line crews could address those issues before the removal process continued.

   Pictured are screen shot examples of all data collected along the target line. In this example, the individual blue markers represent an image capture. The red markers indicate an image capture with a deficiency.

Screen shot examples of all data collected along the target line.

The Mission.

As with all SSI missions, appropriate planning and coordination was a foremost priority. Factors such as air space authority, risk mitigation, safety planning, and SOW identification all contributed to the mission's development.


The Result.

Operation Statistics for this mission are as follows:

  • Single Flight Crew spanning 2 days of flying

  • 608 images collected

  • Analysis from end of flight to final delivery was 49 hours

  • 158 deficiencies/anomalies detected

  • Final report included all documented deficiencies (photos), annotated identifiers of each image (notes), GPS location of image, and punch list for in-field analysis

The information collected by SSI was used to make necessary repairs to the line and resulted in a successful removal without any additional incidents.

   Images showing deficiencies of line. Post analysis results in 158 deficiencies detected, two of which were tagged as "high priority."


Unforeseen issues cause projects to go over budget and off schedule. While this inspection was prompted due to an incident, the investment for the data acquisition and analysis was used to mitigate further issues, making it invaluable. Moving forward, similar comprehensive inspections will be conducted prior to construction for this application.

    If you are interested in learning how Sky Scape can be of value to your projects, contact us!

Work Safe!

Nate Ernst | President, Sky Scape

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