Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Autonomous Vision-Based Primary Distribution Systems Porcelain Insulators Inspection Using UAVs

Version 1 : Received: 17 December 2020 / Approved: 18 December 2020 / Online: 18 December 2020 (11:54:42 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Rahman, E.U.; Zhang, Y.; Ahmad, S.; Ahmad, H.I.; Jobaer, S. Autonomous Vision-Based Primary Distribution Systems Porcelain Insulators Inspection Using UAVs. Sensors 2021, 21, 974. Rahman, E.U.; Zhang, Y.; Ahmad, S.; Ahmad, H.I.; Jobaer, S. Autonomous Vision-Based Primary Distribution Systems Porcelain Insulators Inspection Using UAVs. Sensors 2021, 21, 974.

Journal reference: Sensors 2021, 21, 974
DOI: 10.3390/s21030974

Abstract

The primary distribution systems are comprised of power lines delivering power to utility feeders from substations. The inspection and maintenance of damaged and broken power system insulators are of paramount importance for continuous power supply and public safety. hence, to identify any faults and defects in advance a periodic inspection of power line insulators and other components be ensured beforehand. To automate the process and reduce operational cost and risk Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are being extensively utilized. As they present a safer and efficient way to examine the power system insulators and their components without closing the power distribution system ensuring continuous supply to the end-users. To achieve these objectives in this work a novel dataset is designed by capturing real images using UAVs and manually generated images collected to overcome the data insufficiency problem. Deep Laplacian pyramids based super-resolution network is implemented to reconstruct high-resolution training images. To improve the visibility of low light images a low light image enhancement technique is used for the robust exposure correction of the training images. Using computer vision-based object detection techniques to identify faults and classify them according to classes they belong. A different fine-tuning strategy is implemented for fine-tuning the object detection model to increase detection accuracy for the specific faulty insulators. To improve the faults detection several flight path strategies are proposed for efficient inspection. Such strategies overcome the shuttering effect of insulators along with providing a less complex, time, and energy-efficient approach for capturing video stream of the power system components. Performance of different object detection models is presented for selecting the suitable one for fine-tuning on the specific faulty insulator dataset. Our proposed approach gives a less complex and more efficient flight strategy along with better results. For defect detection, our proposed method achieved an F1-score of 0.81 and 0.77 on two different datasets. Our approach is based on real aerial inspection of in-service porcelain insulators by extensive evaluation of several video sequences showing robust faults recognition and diagnostic capabilities. Our approach is demonstrated on data acquired by a drone in Swat Pakistan.

Subject Areas

Primary distribution systems; Transfer learning; YoloV4; Porcelain Insulator detection; UAVs; BRISQUE; LIME; LapSRN; YoloV5

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