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Aerial Surveys

During September, Unison Networks will commence an aerial survey of its powerlines across Hawke’s Bay, Taupō and Rotorua.

Initially planned to take place earlier this year, poor weather and shorter flying days delayed the timing of the survey, which will now be completed from late-September to early-October. An extension is possible if weather does not permit.

As part of a new initiative this year we are using state-of-the-art LiDAR technology, which will enable us to build an extremely accurate 3D snapshot of the entire network. This will prove an invaluable tool for increasing the reliability of the network overall.

The helicopter will be operating in accordance with New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rules and regulations at all times and should therefore not cause significant audible or visual impact on consumers or livestock. As always, all practical measures will be used to ensure livestock and domestic animals are not disturbed by the aerial survey. The helicopter will be operating at 1000 feet above urban areas and 500 feet above rural areas.

Given the reliance on weather, Unison is unable to provide exact dates and times for when it will be carrying out the survey in your area.

What is LiDAR technology?

LiDAR (Light Detecting and Ranging) technology collecting geographic data to create highly detailed 3D maps and models of our landscape.

LiDAR is fundamentally a distance measuring technology using a plane or helicopter. A pulse of light (invisible to the human eye) is sent to the ground and returns to the sensor with the duration of time being measured. Using data received from this we can determine features on the ground. For instance, vegetation, buildings, and our assets can all be determined by the characteristics of the information contained in the returning pulse.

Why are we using LiDAR technology?

LiDAR is state-of-the-art and will be an invaluable tool for increasing the reliability of the network, as well as delivering on some of Unison’s other key areas of focus.

It’s a very cost-effective way of getting an accurate picture of the whole network all at once, and in a format that can be readily used.

Further to this, and importantly, LiDAR can reach challenging terrain, thereby removing the need to put field staff at unnecessary risk accessing these areas by vehicle and foot.

The data accuracy of LiDAR is unsurpassed by conventional forms of measurement and Unison is always striving to be industry leading.