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Power lines to be mapped by air video

Power supply lines and 17,900 power poles in the Merredin district, Australia will be recorded on video by Western Power. The work will be carried out on March 25 to June 6, 2005.

The poles and high-voltage power lines, in the shires of Yilgarn, Westonia, Mukinbudin, Nungarin, Bruce Rock, Corrigin, Kondinin, Narembeen, Kulin, Kellerberrin, Merredin, Tammin and Trayning will be inspected by trained Western Power operators aboard low flying helicopters equipped with an aerial video mapping system. The program will be carried out to search for damage to lines, insulators, cross-arms and pole-top equipment and for vegetation, especially trees, growing too close to the lines. The length of spans, or bays, between power poles will also be measured to determine which are longer than Western Power standards.

The video mapping system, which incorporates a GPS system to accurately determine the position of the poles, is said to increase the efficiency and accuracy of the program. The video can later be examined as Western Power prepares a works program to install additional power poles in long bays, repair any damage and prune vegetation away from the lines to lessen the likelihood of power interruptions. The new aerial video mapping system was installed last September.