Why are utilities choosing satellites over drones and LiDAR for their O&M needs?


2020 was one of the most destructive years for electric utilities in the state. Last year saw a series of large-scale weather events that ravaged utility infrastructure and caused massive power outages affecting millions of people across the country. Trees damaged power lines and caused outages all along the way. Response and post-restoration work was a nightmare for utility companies. 

Managing vegetation around power lines has always been a challenge for electric utilities, but it gets worse when disasters strike. Tropical storms, hurricanes, wildfires, blizzards and other such weather events are only getting more intense, thanks to climate change. In such a scenario, utilities must look at making foolproof plans for better vegetation management along with disaster preparedness.

To help utilities better manage vegetation around their Transmission and Distribution lines, AiDash — a San Francisco Bay Area-based AI-first SaaS company — has designed a satellite-powered model called the Intelligent Vegetation Management System (IVMS). AiDash IVMS is a dedicated SaaS product for vegetation management that uses high-resolution multispectral and SAR data to remotely monitor and survey vegetation around T&D lines. AiDash IVMS uses a combination of AI models that convert satellite data into actionable insights for utility stakeholders, such as — determining clearance and growth rate along power lines both inside and outside Rights of Way.

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