• Power Utilities
One of 40 – Utility Vegetation Management
A revolution in utility vegetation management.
- Problem: Trees pose risks to electric transmission infrastructure.
- Solution: Monitor multiple indicators to achieve revolutionary UVM.
- Benefit: Lower costs, fewer wildfires, fewer outages, better bottom line.
A few years ago, my wife and I put together a “height ruler” for our kids. We go into their room on birthdays and put a mark on the board with their age and name. They are always excited to see how much they have grown in the past year. She and I are always surprised and slightly saddened to see the changes.
This simple measurement has two components — the child and his/her height. We record the results over time. This very simple illustration is analogous to what geospatial analytics can provide for management of trees in and along transmission corridors.
Satelytics’ electric utility customers use our analytics to measure and compare tree heights on set frequencies and in response to naturally occurring events. Satelytics sources the highest resolution satellite data with specificity down to the square foot. The tree height tool is accurate to within 10% of the actual height, and all data sets can be compared over time.
Several other measurements are applied to revolutionize the workflow of utility vegetation managers, helping them and their utility customers achieve cost savings.
Wire zone and tree strike threat. Satellite sensor resolution is not yet adequate to “see” the wires. Instead, we model the wire zone, which varies with current carried by each segment of the transmission system, ambient temperature, wind speeds, span between transmission towers, and other factors. Satelytics overlays a risk profile to trees near the wire zone based on height. For example, a 65-foot tree standing 50 feet away from the wire zone represents a risk to the wires. In some instances, individual branches are identifiable and represent a physical risk if they encroach on the wire zone.
Tree density. Tree density can also be applied to the data in heavily forested areas. Simple growth and decline are layered in the results for trees and ground vegetation along ROWs. The customer gets to decide how far on either side of the wire to monitor.
Satelytics’ tree monitoring also provides measurements not tied to physical size.
Tree speciation. Known spectral reflectance signatures are analyzed to provide tree speciation along the transmission corridors. Our customers harness these results to plan harvesting operations and keep ahead of infestations, disease, and natural stressors like drought or rainy cycles.
Tree health. A metric for tree health is also available. It utilizes the spectral signature from chlorosis to gauge risk along the corridor.
The customer specifies all measurements described above and how they present as alerts. Risk analysis can also include influencing factors such as soil moisture, slope grade, and loss of cover. High-resolution satellite data can be captured 4-5 times per week
almost anywhere on earth, which provides ample opportunity to monitor the vegetative changes occurring and respond to natural incidents. And just like our family height ruler, Satelytics keeps all results and data in perpetuity, allowing comparison and new analysis forward and backward as new algorithms are developed.
Satelytics has teamed with ACRT Services, a company with over 60 years of UVM expertise behind them. With their expertise in forestry, and our expertise in pointing field teams right to the problem within hours of data capture, we think we are an unbeatable team. Please call ACRT Services or Satelyticstoday to find out how we can help to streamline your UVM efforts!