As a follow-up to our increasing orientation onto UAV applications in industry I would like to present you today pretty interesting inspection task, done by the Elimco UAV team. They recently managed to do a flyover above more than 100km long powerlines while making thousands of high resolution images. These images was meant for further processing and analysis. The company was asked to perform the flight in basically unaccessible area in the mountains of Colombia and to carry out a high definition inspection.
Apparently, this task really was not an easy one, so they decided to deploy the Elimco E300 viewer. It is an advanced air monitoring system, robust and easily portable, designed for intelligence activities, observation and reconnaissance. The UAV E300 features a large payload capacity with a low noise electrical propulsion.
There was literally no operational space for take offs and landings, mainly because the most of the particular area was reportedly under the guerilla control. Moreover, there was need to count with the wind which was expected to gust up to 70Km/h during flight, plus some clouds and the terrain at 3.000m above sea level. Therefore, the first serious complication was to find some operation point. In the end, they set up a camp in undulating cow pasture with heavy slopes and choose one of the valleys for landing. The valley measured barely 20 metres and was surrounded by electrified wires, so the landing had to be precisely surgical. The Elimco E300Viewer was succesfully launched with a catapult and also the whole flight went pretty much well, calmly and uneventfully. The recorded flight plan was almost 100 kilometres from the taking off spot to the start of the powerline followed by another 100 kilometres back following the line at roughly 200 metres AGL. During the whole operation was taken more than 2.000 aerial pictures in high resolution for further processing, analysis and delivering to a customer. The imagery gave him definitely a precise report about a status, integrity and potentially failures or critical spots of his power lines.