Unison Networks is launching a comprehensive aerial helicopter survey of its full electricity network this month, using state-of-the-art technology - LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging).
“LiDAR will enable us to build an extremely accurate 3D snapshot of the network, across Hawke’s Bay, Taupō and Rotorua,” says Unison’s General Manager of Networks and Operations, Jaun Park.
He says, “as this is the first time Unison is using the technology over such a large area, it will provide invaluable data that we can use to improve the safety and reliability of the network overall, as well as delivering on some of the Company’s other key areas of focus.
“It’s a very cost-effective way of getting a picture of the whole network all at once, and in a format we can readily use.
“Further to this, and importantly, LiDAR can reach challenging terrain, thereby removing the need for us to put field staff at unnecessary risk accessing these areas by vehicle and foot.”
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.
In accordance with New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rules and regulations, the helicopter will be operating at 1000 feet above urban areas and 500 feet above rural areas.
“At these altitudes, we do not expect there to be any significant audible or visual impact on consumers or livestock, which is something we are always conscious of when carrying out aerial surveying on the network.
“The data accuracy of LiDAR is unsurpassed by conventional forms of measurement which serves as testament to our industry-leading approach to delivering on customers’ energy needs.”
He says any members of the Hawke’s Bay, Taupō or Rotorua communities with queries or concerns are encouraged to call 0800 2 UNISON.
More information can be found on the Unison website at www.unison.co.nz/aerial-survey