3D PATH PLANNING OF UAVs FOR TRANSMISSION LINES INSPECTION

Ruifang Dong, Changan Liu, Xiaopeng Wang, and Xiaolei Han

Keywords

3D Path planning, transmission lines inspection, UAVs, coverage information, viewpoint selection

Abstract

To facilitate autonomous and excellent transmission lines inspection, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) must be equipped with path-planning intelligence. This paper presents a novel and efficient 3D path-planning algorithm for autonomous transmission lines inspection. In this work, UAVs-based inspection includes two modes: line corridor sketchy inspection and transmission tower detail inspection. A fixed-wing UAV is employed to conduct line corridor inspection, while rotorcraft UAV is used to carry on tower inspection. The path-planning algorithm also includes two modes accordingly. Consider coverage information, observation quality of inspection targets, vehicle motion constraints, inspection rules, and obstacles, both modes try to find a set of best viewpoints, then connect the best viewpoints as well as plan a collision-free and feasible path. The best viewpoints are beneficial to judge the status of accessories and lines. To evaluate the capabilities of the proposed algorithm, a few challenging test-cases were employed which include simulation case, test-bed case, and real-data case. Experimental results verified the high performance of the proposed algorithm. Finally, the real-hardware implementation is also discussed.

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