Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Powerline Eyes Help Prevent Bushfires

Date:
April 10, 2001
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
New Australian technology is set to help protect communities from bushfires and dramatically reduce the cost of keeping trees clear of powerlines.

New Australian technology is set to help protect communities from bushfires and dramatically reduce the cost of keeping trees clear of powerlines.

Related Articles


Australia's national science agency, CSIRO, and Powercor Australia have developed technology that will make it possible for power companies to measure the distance of tree branches from powerlines from the air. This will save money presently spent on manual inspection, particularly in rural areas.

The application was developed for Powercor Australia, the state of Victoria's largest electricity distributor, to automatically measure the distance of tree branches from powerlines, important in bushfire prevention and corridor mapping.

"Each year Powercor Australia spends millions of dollars making sure our electricity network is free from interference from trees and vegetation," said Powercor Australia's Manager of Technology, Bob Coulter.

"Trees coming into contact with powerlines can pose a serious fire risk to the community, as well as being a major source of power interruptions.

"Throughout the course of each year, our powerline audits involve a combination of aerial inspection and on-the-ground observation by patrolling crews," said Mr Coulter.

"This new technology will mean that ground patrols are only needed later, when tree branches actually need to be trimmed."

Since 1996, CSIRO has carried out several studies for Powercor to develop a cost effective airborne image capture and processing system to automatically measure the clearance of trees from powerlines.

Streams of colour stereo images were collected from an aeroplane flying above power lines carrying two cameras, one on each wing.

CSIRO image analysis specialists, Dr Changming Sun, Dr Mark Berman and their colleagues, developed software to identify objects such as powerlines, poles and the surfaces of nearby trees in three dimensions. The software can then measure distances from powerlines to trees.

"This technology is a form of stereo computer vision," said Dr Berman. "It reconstructs three-dimensional information from a sequence of stereo image pairs of a scene and uses it to measure distances."

"This is similar to how human vision works. The two cameras and a computer are like our two eyes and brain which seamlessly work together to estimate how far away objects are from us and each other."

"Unlike human vision, however, this technology can make very accurate measurements."

As well as assessing powerlines entirely from the air without the need for patrols to check them, the technology will give power companies a record of the state of their distribution assets at a particular date.

Mr Coulter said once the system has been commercialised, it would benefit a wide range of industries in the future.

"We particularly see great opportunities for organisations to use the stereo vision technology for other areas of corridor mapping, such as along roads and railways, phone lines, and pipelines for oil, gas and water."

CSIRO and Powercor Australia have just taken out a provisional patent on the technology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "Powerline Eyes Help Prevent Bushfires." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 April 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010410085007.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2001, April 10). Powerline Eyes Help Prevent Bushfires. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010410085007.htm
CSIRO Australia. "Powerline Eyes Help Prevent Bushfires." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010410085007.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins