Leicestershire, UK, Oct. 20, 2014—A multi million pound contract to produce the largest ever LiDAR survey undertaken by an electricity distribution network operator in the UK has been awarded to ADAS and Bluesky International. The companies have been contracted to conduct an aerial 3D LiDAR survey of the whole of UK Power Networks’ High and Extra High Voltage (HV & EHV) overhead power lines, which extend to over 30,000 kms.
LiDAR is a remote sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser and analysing the reflected light to produce high-resolution maps. The technology is central to the UK Power Networks contract, a three year risk-based tree clearance programme for the electricity company. The survey assesses the current state of vegetation near the overhead lines via the use of fully up to date 3D LiDAR images rather than aerial photography.
Tree related electrical disruptions present the single greatest risk to electricity supplies. For this reason, electricity industry regulators in many countries require proof that vegetation management systems are in place to minimise the potential for this type of incident and the impact on customers.
A major challenge of the contract was the need to complete the survey before autumn leaf fall started in earnest. Weather conditions and Air Traffic Control restrictions can sometimes be unpredictable and add to the challenge. However, three fixed wing aircraft, each fully equipped with the world’s most advanced LiDAR sensors, have been in the air every day since mid July and successfully completed the survey within the strict deadline.
ADAS and Bluesky have a strong track record of working together on similar projects. The UK Power Network project follows on from a highly successful contract that the companies delivered for SP Energy Networks in 2013. It involved the use of stereo aerial photography to assess the amount of vegetation near the overhead lines combined with an assessment of the number of customers affected which informed a prioritised programme for resilience clearance.
Project team manager Roy Dyer says, “ADAS provides high level policy and operational advice to a number of electricity distribution network operators but this exciting new contract win proves that the combination of Bluesky’s aerial photography and LiDAR capability and ADAS’ knowledge and experience of vegetation management near overhead electricity lines provides the most comprehensive strategic vegetation service available.”
Rachel Tidmarsh, managing director of Bluesky International, says, “By combining Bluesky and ADAS’ expertise we have been able to offer an innovative and cost effective solution that provides UK Power Networks with highly detailed LiDAR, aerial photography, mapping and analysis of their overhead line assets enabling them to make more informed decisions regarding vegetation management.”
Through this project, UK Power Networks will be able to demonstrate to both the industry regulators and their customers that they have invested in the best available vegetation management system that will enable them to minimise tree related electrical disruptions.
ADAS is the company’s registered trading name and is not an acronym. ADAS is a national agricultural and environmental consultancy, concerned with two major issues of our time: securing food supply and enhancing the environment. It provides rural development and policy advice, and consultancy and contracting services to a wide range of organisations in both the private and public sectors. The Group bridges the link between policy and technical understanding and on the ground activities.
ADAS is independent of, but fully understands, government and commercial needs, the agricultural industry and farmers. Its expertise is based on evidence, underpinned by science, with its core disciplines focused on balancing profitable production with minimum environmental impact, reducing waste, water and energy use to ensure future sustainability.
ADAS Group has over 600 staff covering more than 60 specialisms, operating from a network of offices and research sites in England, Scotland and Wales.
About Bluesky International:
Bluesky is a UK-based specialist in aerial survey including aerial photography, LiDAR and thermal data using the very latest survey technology, including an UltraCam Eagle and an Orion M300 LiDAR system. An internationally recognised leader with projects extending around the globe, Bluesky is proud to work with prestigious organisations such as Google, the BBC and Government Agencies.
Bluesky has unrivalled expertise in the creation of seamless, digital aerial photography and maintains national “off the shelf” coverage of aerial photography, DTM and DSM through an on-going 3 year update programme. By purchasing a World first sensor for the simultaneous capture of LiDAR, Thermal and Aerial Photography data Bluesky is in the enviable position of being able to provide customers with unique and cost effective solutions.
Bluesky is also leading the way in developing innovative solutions for environmental applications including the UK’s first National Tree Map (NTM), solar mapping and citywide ‘heat loss’ maps and is currently developing noise and air quality mapping products.