Rostec presents drone for monitoring power grids


The Ruselectronics holding company, which is part of the Rostec Corporation, has presented a drone for video monitoring of power lines. The presentation was held within International Forum “Electrical Grids” taking place in Moscow. The drone features a camera and a thermal imager and can operate absolutely autonomously collecting and communicating data on the state of power grids to operators’ services.

The new drone is part of the system for monitoring overhead transmission lines. The system is also equipped with multi-purpose charging stations and software for automatic processing of collected video data.

Today, assessment of the condition of power transmission lines requires on-site visits of specialists and special equipment to lift a man, with power transmission lines turned off. The process is getting much more complicated when it is needed to inspect sections of power transmission lines running in marsh land, across gullies, forests and water barriers.

The drone simplifies dealing with these tasks and is capable of revealing hazards at early stages, which helps to reduce the breakdown rate on power transmission lines. In the course of recovery work, the drone reduces the time needed to detect damages and causes of malfunction. 

“Creation of such complexes and systems allows automation of processes that previously required human involvement. Drones can operate on a 24-hour basis in any weather conditions. Unmanned technologies enhance the quality of monitoring in the power grid complex, decrease the number of errors and accelerate response times to emergencies. We continue expanding the range of unmanned aircraft applications: this is a huge market that currently grows by 50% annually and expected to exceed 13 billion rubles by 2020,” said Rostec’s Executive Director Oleg Yevtushenko.

Drones used in the monitoring system are manufactured of composite materials and can operate at temperatures ranging from -300C to +600C as well as during rain, strong wind or snowfall. Imaging accuracy is achieved owing to a gyro-stabilised camera system integrating a thermal imager and a visible-band digital camera.

Charging devices for drones may be mounted on top of transformer stations. They will provide recharge to UAV and enable receipt of flight programs and communication of collected data.

Due to special-purpose software, the system can detect wire sags, dangerous slopes of supports, damaged insulation and connections, as well as identify foreign objects in restricted zones that may affect operation of power transmission lines.

The project is being implemented within Rostec by Vega Concern of the Ruselectronics holding company.

International Forum “Electrical Grids” is taking place at VDNH EXPO Pavilion No. 75 from December 4th to 7th. Rostec is the general partner of the event.