ITC Midwest conducting aerial LiDAR research of high-voltage transmission lines

Published 4:22 pm Wednesday, November 10, 2021

ITC Midwest will conduct aerial LiDAR research of high-voltage transmission structures and lines throughout south-central Minnesota during mid-November, weather permitting. Through an innovative collaboration, this research work is being conducted for ITC Midwest by the University of Iowa Technology Institute.

According to a news release, LiDAR stands for light detection and ranging, which is a remote sensing method that uses light to measure distances from objects to the ground to create a three-dimensional data set. In this case, the University of Iowa Operator Performance Laboratory (OPL) will research the use of LiDAR technology to accurately map ITC Midwest’s electric transmission system.

The resulting system will help ITC Midwest maintain a safe and reliable electric transmission grid and facilitate repairs following storms.

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The aerial research will cover the company’s rural lines in areas surrounding the communities of Adrian, Albert Lea, Fairmont, Lakefield, Lamberton, Owatonna, Sherburn, Springfield, Windom and Worthington.

The flights will be conducted using a PZL Mi-2 twin-turbine helicopter with dark green and tan camouflage paint. The aerial research will be conducted at low altitudes of 300 to 400 feet to ensure research integrity. This is normal procedure, so there is no cause for alarm if a low-flying helicopter is sighted near transmission lines during the time frame indicated above.