The need for LIDAR technology arose due to the necessity for a solution for vegetation management during the drone pilot project.
DSO Energijos skirstymo operatorius (ESO) is responsible for more than 100 000 km of electricity overhead power lines of which 70% is overhead lines installed on designated poles. All these lines are often in areas not easily accessible, and therefore, the passage may be difficult to survey. Consequently, it requires proper visual inspection to evaluate the maintenance need on the lines itself and managing surrounding area like eliminating existing vegetation below the lines or too close to the line. Such infrastructure is situated in the whole country, so it can be an empty field or forested area – all of it must be scrutinised according to the plans to ensure the safety and reliability of the network.
LIDAR system operating from a low altitude airborne platform has no difficulties accessing and surveying even the roughest terrain quickly, cost-effectively, and without placing people at risk. It provides accurate position information of wires, structures, vegetation and the ground along the power line corridor. LIDAR data allows generating highly accurate 3D models for network maintenance but also potential risk analysis and vegetation encroachment analysis.