Utilizing Cloud-Based LIDAR data analysis tools for vegetation management

Distribution network


The existing distribution network should enhance its resilience and employ digital data to proactively mitigate and assess risks. Among the crucial elements ensuring dependable electricity supply to customers, overhead lines in the distribution network hold significant importance. ESO possesses approximately 40,000 km of medium voltage lines operating at 10 and 35kV. Since 2021, ESO has extensively adopted LIDAR technology for managing vegetation around overhead lines. A significant portion of overhead lines located in forested regions are scanned using LIDAR. The subsequent phase involves implementing LIDAR data analytics and facilitating swift data accessibility.


ESO acquires LIDAR images and data analytic as a service. Contractor supplies both raw LIDAR data and analyzed data in the form of a vegetation management report. This report highlights segments that contain hazardous trees, identifies tree clearing corridors, and pinpoints foreign objects within the line protection zone.

However, ESO lacks the infrastructure and resources to store, access, and analyze the raw LIDAR image data themselves. As a result, the effectiveness of the data analytics service provided by different contractors varies. Existing contracts does not allow to change LIDAR data analysis requirements or introduce new requirements thus limiting ESO's capacity to derive valuable insights, adapt to changing environment for decision-making.


A NEARA LIDAR data analytic cloud platform specifically designed for vegetation management offers significant advantages in this field. By utilizing cloud-based platforms, DSO’s can efficiently store, access, and process large volumes of LIDAR data for vegetation management purposes without the need to invest extensively in IT hardware. The cloud-based solution enables advanced data analytics techniques, such as machine learning algorithms, to be applied to the LIDAR data, providing accurate LIDAR data classification and assessment of vegetation risks near infrastructure, creation of vegetation management reports and heat maps. This empowers DSO’s to make informed decisions, prioritize maintenance efforts, and ensure the reliability and safety of the assets.


The pilot project was initiated in 2023 to test NEARA solution. 100 km of 10-35 km overhead lines LIDAR raw data was uploaded to NEARA cloud to test use cases:

  • Automatic raw LIDAR data classification (lines, poles, fences, structures).
  • Simulate wind conditions and temperatures, analyze impact on conductor sag and sway.
  • Heat map of dangerous trees in overhead line protection zones.
  • Automatically segment vegetation LIDAR data into individual trees.
  • Automatic detection of foreign objects, fences, structures inside overhead line protection zone.

The NEARA solution successfully addressed all the use cases defined in the pilot project, showcasing its effectiveness and potential for vegetation management.

Want to know more? Contact our Innovation expert Ernestas Zimkus - [email protected]