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Sensors 2019, 19(8), 1812; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19081812

LiDAR-Based Real-Time Detection and Modeling of Power Lines for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

1,2,*,†, 1,2,*, 1,2,*, 1,2,*, 1,2,*,‡, 1,2,*, 1,2,* and 1,2,*
1
INESC Technology and Science, Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
2
ISEP-School of Engineering, Electrical Engineering Department, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Beyond-Vision, 3830-352 Ílhavo, Portugal.
Current address: Altran Portugal, 4400-307 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.
Received: 12 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
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Abstract

The effective monitoring and maintenance of power lines are becoming increasingly important due to a global growing dependence on electricity. The costs and risks associated with the traditional foot patrol and helicopter-based inspections can be reduced by using UAVs with the appropriate sensors. However, this implies developing algorithms to make the power line inspection process reliable and autonomous. In order to overcome the limitations of visual methods in the presence of poor light and noisy backgrounds, we propose to address the problem of power line detection and modeling based on LiDAR. The PL 2 DM, Power Line LiDAR-based Detection and Modeling, is a novel approach to detect power lines. Its basis is a scan-by-scan adaptive neighbor minimalist comparison for all the points in a point cloud. The power line final model is obtained by matching and grouping several line segments, using their collinearity properties. Horizontally, the power lines are modeled as a straight line, and vertically as a catenary curve. Using a real dataset, the algorithm showed promising results both in terms of outputs and processing time, adding real-time object-based perception capabilities for other layers of processing. View Full-Text
Keywords: power line; Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR); real-time; Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV); point cloud; segmentation; catenary power line; Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR); real-time; Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV); point cloud; segmentation; catenary
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style

Azevedo, F.; Dias, A.; Almeida, J.; Oliveira, A.; Ferreira, A.; Santos, T.; Martins, A.; Silva, E. LiDAR-Based Real-Time Detection and Modeling of Power Lines for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Sensors 2019, 19, 1812.

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