It will create a ‘digital twin’ of the distribution network by capturing aerial lidar and imagery data and processing it using machine-learning and cloud-computing systems.

TasNetworks representatives will then be able to analyse the data and use it for engineering work and analysis of vegetation clearance using Fugro’s Roames World cloud-based platform. Vegetation that comes into contact with powerlines can ignite fires and Fugro’s data will help manage and mitigate the risk of bush fires around the network.

As part of the project, Fugro will also carry out an image-based condition assessment of the pole tops in selected high-outage areas, such as those exposed to extreme winds and salt spray. High-resolution imagery of the poles will be captured from helicopter-mounted cameras and combined with automated data analytics. Images will be analysed to identify damaged or corroded components, prompting immediate action and informing longer-term asset maintenance and replacement plans.

TasNetworks’ general manager of network, commercial and major customer services, Michael Ash, said: “Helicopter checks are crucial for spotting defects and keeping powerlines as secure as possible and Fugro’s virtual model of our network will generate actionable insights for us to take preventive measures. Keeping Tasmanians safe is our highest priority and we’re moving decisively to run the best possible inspection and maintenance programme to help save lives.”

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