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CASE STUDY: PRE-SUMMER BUSHFIRE (WILDFIRE) INSPECTION

OVERVIEW

Annually, our client, Endeavour Energy, undertakes a Pre-Summer Bushfire (Wildfire) Inspection to prepare their network for the upcoming bushfire season. The objective is to capture and assess pole structures and powerlines within the designated bushfire areas.


APPROACH

Aethon utilized the Autonomous Image Capture (AIC) sensor, LiDAR, and handheld systems to complete the program over a five-month period, in addition to three helicopters and ground crews for areas where aerial collection is not achievable.


CHALLENGES

Aethon establishes contingency plans to ensure project teams are always prepared for unexpected events. In this case, the team encountered two major challenges.

  1. Poor weather conditions

  2. Lack of resources

Aethon typically allocates 30 weather days on the program, but due to the La Niña event, the team experienced 49 days of unmanageable weather. As the storm causes unusually heavy rainfall and floods, it resulted in unanticipated delays.

Figure 1: Weather Challenges Experienced During Program

In addition, challenges were faced with the spatial accuracy of the dataset provided prior to the start of the program.


SOLUTIONS

To be more efficient on project delivery, Aethon focused on the initial capture and completed all necessary reflys at the end of the program. Swift decisions were made to move aircraft into areas with more favorable conditions to limit time wastage.


These decisions enabled Aethon to promptly deliver the most important data - vegetation reports - to Endeavour Energy and reduced flight hours, thus preventing additional field-based costs.


RESULT

A total of 173,000 structures and over 11,500km of network was captured using the Aethon AIC sensor and handheld systems, in addition to LiDAR, which was used to complete vegetation assessment.


The program, which was expected to be completed at the end of June, was delivered to Endeavour Energy by the end of July, a remarkable effort by the team, considering the 49 weather days.


Figure 2: Sample of Program Deliverable

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