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Field Survey & Inspection

Aerial Drone Inspections

United Utility’s Unmanned Aerial Systems Inspections as a Service is the future of Transmission and Distribution Inspection for utilities that will greatly improve safety, efficiency, and cost. In the past, these inspections were performed manually by linemen, or other experienced line persons, which historically required expensive labor charges due to needing to be on-site climbing or using bucket trucks where accessible but can still hit roadblocks due to excessive vegetation. On the extreme, helicopters are used, which can cost upwards of $10,000/hour.

UU’s experienced survey technicians bypass all these obstacles with the use of Aerial platforms (Drones) with a variety of sensors to accomplish thermography and visual inspections of all structures while maintaining a safe distance from the assets and capturing a view of the structures generally not able to be seen from ground crews. Utilizing drone technology, we are able to get the inspections completed faster with fewer obstacles:

  • No time wasted walking/driving back and forth to assets
  • Safer – no live person near the energized lines
  • More efficient – no need to de-energize lines
  • High quality

Our experience ranges from transmission and distribution inspections, solar panel inspections, solar farm site mapping, wind turbines (On and off-shore) and LiDAR applications for accurate measurements and permitting requirements.

Drone Inspections

United Utility utilizes unmanned aerial systems including Drones to accomplish thermography and visual inspections at a safe distance from structures while capturing a view not visible to ground crews.  Inpections are completed more quickly and safely, with less labor time, less de-energizing of lines and with higher quality detail to provide more thorough data cost-effectively.

  • Full T&D overhead systems inspection
    • Aerial Photogrammetry/Thermography
    • Aerial LiDAR (Light Detecting and Ranging)
    • Comprehensive visual inspections and reporting
    • Geolocated surveys for any GIS system
    • Vegetation encroachment analysis
  • Solar facility thermal inspections
  • Substation static-mounted LiDAR
  • Wind turbine inspections
  • 2D/3D modeling

Ground Penetrating Radar Inspection

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) provides a safe, non-destructive and cost-efficient means of collecting underground utility data.  With an understanding of the construction process and using certified technicians, United Utility intelligently GPR-scans underground sites, marks strategic grid locations and avoids costly soft digs.  GPR can locate the position and depth of metallic and non-metallic objects, up to 35 feet deep and with accuracy within 1-2 inches.

  • Rapid data collection
  • More efficient project planning
  • Scan now, use later
  • Detailed reporting & documentation

LiDAR Inspection

United Utility uses Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey technology to rapidly analyze transmission and distribution lines, substations and other critical electrical infrastructure. LiDAR sends eye-safe laser light pulses that create millions of survey data points in high-resolution digital elevation models and 3D representations.  As an example, LiDAR can be deployed as a tool in planning construction of new transmission and distribution lines as well as analysis of existing lines and substations.

With accuracy within 2-5 centimeters, and fast collection of 75 miles/day, LiDAR provides time- and cost-effective survey data that can be stored for future use and can save up to 50% over traditional survey methods.

Infrared Thermography

Electrical equipment gets hot prior to failure, and identifying trouble spots early prevents failures and reduces the cost of maintenance and repairs.  United Utility provides reports on potential or emergent problems quickly and accurately using an infrared thermographer or drone, without using bucket trucks and full crews.

  • Rapid and wide-spread data collection
  • Identify issues with small, out-of-reach components
  • More efficient project planning
  • Detailed reporting & documentation