How to Classify Power Lines and Detect Vegetation Encroachment

Reduce time in the field by quickly identifying vegetation hazards

LP360 LiDAR and Photogrammetry 3D point cloud software provides a quick and efficient approach to the classification of power lines and the detection of vegetation encroachment. This cutting-edge software offers a powerful solution for swiftly and accurately identifying potential hazards posed by vegetation growth near power lines, transforming the way technicians approach inspection and maintenance within the transmission line industry.

Jaume Cazorla, the LP360 Customer Success Manager for LP360, demonstrates how LP360 is used by utility companies to collect LIDAR data with TrueView 3D IS LiDAR drone systems and process it through LP360 to identify wires, towers, and vegetation. Learn the workflow in this informative video:

LP360 for Power Lines

The application of LP360 software lies in its ability to process LiDAR and photogrammetry 3D point cloud data. By leveraging this technology, technicians can efficiently classify and extract power lines while identifying vegetation encroachments with unprecedented precision.

For the example in Jaume’s workflow video above, the data was collected from a power line corridor in Bordeaux, France, utilizing a DJI M300 with the TrueView 535 3D Imaging System.  The section of the corridor that was flown was approximately 1 kilometer in length, flying at a constant flight altitude of 50 meters at a speed of 6 meters per second. The duration of the flight was approximately 12 minutes.

Classified point cloud showing vegetation encroachment
Click the image above to view the classified power line point cloud

The LP360 Workflow

LP360’s user-friendly interface allows users to review encroachments and potential risks in a comprehensive and visually accessible manner. It provides detailed insights into the proximity of vegetation to power lines, aiding in informed decision-making for vegetation clearance or trimming activities.

Power Line Classification and Vegetation Extraction Workflow:

  1. Data acquisition with TrueView535
  2. Point cloud generation with LP360 Drone
  3. Geometrical corrections
  4. Remove the noise
  5. Classify the ground
  6. Classify the power towers
  7. Extract the cables automatically using “Powerline extractor”
  8. Classify the vegetation
  9. Encroachment, with a radius of 10, 7.5, 5, and 3 meters around the cables
  10. Extract a list of locations with coordinates where the forestry team needs to clear the encroaching vegetation

Using LP360 can significantly minimize the need for extensive field surveys and physical inspections along transmission lines. By reducing the reliance on manual inspections, the software not only saves time but also improves safety by minimizing the exposure of field technicians to hazardous work environments.

Besides transmission line models, the extensive geospatial toolbox in the LP360 allows users to create high-quality deliverables such as contours, ground classification, volumetric analysis, and digital elevation models.

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