This work presents some results about power transmission line tracking control and a full autonomous inspection using a quadrotor helicopter. The presented in this paper power line autonomous inspection allows detecting power line defects caused by thunderstorms, corrosion, insulator malfunctions, and same time monitoring of vegetation under the power line corridor. Traditional inspection is performed by helicopters equipped with high-resolution cameras or by direct visual examination carried out by highly skilled staff climbing over de-energized power lines. However, the visual inspection is time-expensive and costly. Moreover, due to regulatory constraints, the helicopters cannot cover narrow mountainous areas. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are an attractive alternative for power line inspection. In this work, a mathematical model for the quadrotor helicopter used in the autonomous inspection is presented. The model is successfully evaluated through simulations and flight experiments. Next, the construction of a quadrotor helicopter system and its application to power line autonomous inspection is introduced. Simulation and experimental results demonstrate the efficiency and applicability of that system. The results of this research are in the process of implementation for regular inspection of electrical transmission lines.
Part of the book: Motion Planning