• Bird’s-eye view

    Bird's-eye view

    Côte d’Ivoire has launched a new way to cost-effectively monitor its vast power installations.

    According to Africa News, the country plans to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – commonly known as drones – to inspect its 25 000 km of electricity lines. The drones will be equipped with cameras, sensors and thermal lasers to collect data that AI software will automatically analyse to detect any faults or defects.

    ‘UAVs will allow us to inspect our structures and also optimise our monitoring and inspection costs,’ says Dominique Kakou director general at CIE.

    The initiative is spearheaded by the national electricity company (CIE), which has also opened a drone academy in Abidjan to train around 20 local pilots to assemble, fly and repair the drones. Trainees will also learn how to use numerous software packages for image data analysis, geo-location and mapping.

    Having already made significant investment in rebuilding its power grid since the end of civil war in 2011, Côte d’Ivoire plans to spend another estimated US$19 billion on the sector by 2030.

    2 May 2018
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images