We have seen during our work with over 40 global utilities that one key challenge of transitioning to virtual overhead line inspections is the quality and consistency of image capture. There are many factors that impact this process – from camera quality, to angle of image capture to flight patterns when utilizing flight or drones.  In real-life conditions, these factors often lead to subpar image capture, and issues such as improper exposure, blur and framing are commonplace.  Sometimes operators are even forced to refly the lines to get useful data for virtual inspections, leading to inefficiencies and high costs.  

eSmart Systems is partnering with AISPECO in a project to develop edge computing algorithms for the improvement and automation of the image capture process for overhead line inspections. This will help utilities capture images of their assets in a more efficient and reliable manner, with the goal of reducing costs associated with image capture by ensuring the right images are captured the first time.  High-quality, consistent images also contribute to a significantly more efficient AI-assisted inspection process. 

The objective of Smart Falcon is to develop a solution that is able to identify in real-time when a target structure or part of the structure is in-frame, and automatically trigger a camera shot. The solution will also evaluate in real-time the quality of the image to determine if it meets the standards required, and otherwise another image is taken automatically without the need to circle back.

Having worked with over 40 utilities globally, we have heard from numerous customers that their image capture process is not as efficient as it could be, with the image capture teams sometimes having to refly the course to retake images. Smart Falcon project will help improve the efficiency of image capture, increase image quality and reduce the costs of the overall process

Kathrin Sunde
Head of Innovation and Sustainability, eSmart Systems

Smart Falcon enables eSmart’s  customers to make the transition to virtual overhead line inspection by increasing efficiency of image capture, improving image quality and thereby reducing the costs of image capture.  

AISPECO simultaneously will develop a versatile gimbal and steering system for helicopters’ rig and -in later stages – for planes, drones and cars. 

This solution represents a major change in the way images are captured in the inspection process.  As with all of our innovation projects, customers are at the heart of what we do. This program is open for utilities to join and contribute to the future of image capture, utilizing state-of-the-art edge computing.  

Contact us today if you wish to find out more about this program or wish to be a part of this exciting development.  

Project SMART FALCON – AUTONOMOUS DATA COLLECTION PLATFORM (LT07-1-EIM-K02-007)  The project is co-financed by the Norwegian Financial Mechanisms and the Republic of Lithuania, under the Business Development, Innovation and SMEs program.

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