Customized UAS Solutions

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4 Oct 2020

Sockline pull H6At the heart of ARE is an engineering and technology company committed to finding solutions to decrease risk, increase efficiency and reduce expense.  Our UAS and Engineering teams have recently been working on two customized solutions for the utility sector.

  1. Using a UAS to drop a sling attached to safety lines (climbing ropes) on top of utility poles instead of mobilizing snooper trucks and shutting down traffic
  2. Stringing high-voltage lines by pulling sock line over transmission poles using a UAS (drone)


Safety Line Harness Installation

ARE has developed a new way of installing a safety line harness on distribution poles. It’s safe, reliable, and easy to deploy.  With creative engineering and patience at the controls, our UAS flight and engineering teams have developed a “Game changer.” The key was in the payload design combined with a customized drone. Below, are some essential considerations for the successful tool:

  1. Carry a large enough sling diameter to set on top of the pole.
  2. Ensure that the safety line itself would not become entangled in the props.
  3. Make certain the aircraft could handle the lift tension without becoming a risk.
  4. Prevent signal interference by correct positioning of flight controllers, receivers, and servos onboard the aircraft.
  5. Verify that the harness release mechanism was reliable…every time.

After months of testing and narrowing down the parameters, we are now building a fully customized platform to be utilized specifically for this application.

Sock Line Pull Installation

Stringing high-voltage power lines between towers is specialized and challenging work traditionally done by helicopters. ARE has successfully demonstrated utilizing UAS to pull and install sock line into two consecutive transmission line poles at a utilities’ training facility.  This will ultimately allow for less risk and less expense compared to traditional methods.

The team has developed a payload, attached to a UAS to lift, pull, install, and release a sock line used to string power lines across distribution and transmission towers. Utilizing the right aircraft and payload system is critical for overcoming reel and line tension, the force of the pulley gate, distance traveled, and sufficient time for safely releasing the sock line or landing with the line attached.

Interested in other drone applications for utilities? Check out our upcoming webinar, New Advancements in Drone Applications: Utility and Power Solutions.

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