Cyberhawk & SSEN Combine

To Create New Gold Standard in Asset Management
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13 October 2021

Cyberhawk have built a reputation of gold standard drone inspection that not only promotes safety out in the field but provides an efficient and more environmentally friendly inspection method compared to traditional means.

So far, that standard of service has carried us past 100,000 tower inspections and 35 world firsts in 37 countries.

But to label us simply as an inspection provider would be unkind to the other lines of our business.

We created iHawk with many aims in mind, but one of them was to digitally transform a cumbersome pen and paper process into a revolutionary one that would empower utility providers to not only take control of the inspection process but manage their asset portfolio proactively before faults can have a detrimental effect on their power grid.

In this blog post we’re going to look back at a piece of work we completed with SSEN to highlight the strengths of our two-pronged approach.

Scope of Work

The SSEN high-voltage transmission network (132kV – 400kV) includes more than 11,000 towers and 120 substation sites. To complete a job of this scale would require iHawk-enabled ruggedized tablets so that specialists could tackle the following:

SSEN Lines Persons:
- Ground or climbing condition inspections
- ESQCR inspections
- Repair and maintenance work orders

SSEN Fitters at Substations:
- Asset specific condition inspections
- ESQCR inspections
- Site security inspection
- Oil risk inspections
- Repair and maintenance work orders

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UAV Tower Inspection

Our inspection solution involves a two-man team, consisting of a pilot and an industry-qualified engineer, mobilizing on-site to capture the visual data required using a UAV. Whilst the pilot is flying, the engineer views what the UAV sees on a separate screen in real-time, to ensure the required data is being captured.

The benefits of using UAVs for transmission inspection include:

- Significant cost reductions, thanks to the speed of inspection and reduced downtime
- Reduced safety risks, by removing the need to work at height, near live lines or in generally hazardous areas
- The ability to quickly gain a huge volume of highly detailed imagery
- Engineers reporting to an agreed defect standard, meaning one centralized, consistent approach

Interested in learning more about our power grid capabilities?

Get our brochure here.

Data Capture in the Field

SSEN lines persons complete condition assessments on towers by ground patrols and climbing inspections and ESQCR inspections. At SSEN substations, fitters also complete condition assessments, site risk inspections and ESQCR inspections.

To ensure these inspections are completed to a high standard and that data is captured consistently with photographic evidence to show each defect, we use iHawk.

The software is intuitive, easy to use and has been created specifically to deal with outdoor condition inspections in the field.

All data is captured in the same format, hosted on the iHawk cloud viewer and used to generate repair and maintenance work orders. These work orders are in turn sent to tablet computers in the field for completion. Once SSEN lines persons have executed the work, images are taken of the repaired component and uploaded back into iHawk for manager approval, maintaining an up-to-date asset condition database. This technology creates ‘one source of truth’, meaning that lines persons in the field are seeing exactly the same data as an asset manager back in an office.

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Interested in learning more about our power grid capabilities?

Get our brochure here.

iHawk in Action

The key advantage of iHawk is its ability to convert a huge volume of data into powerful and easy to navigate management information for improved decision-making and decision justification.

Displaying the data on iHawk also gives an at-a-glance view of the asset portfolio, using a map-based interface to highlight location and a color-coded reporting matrix to highlight defect status of assets. This helps simplify the asset management process, allowing managers to focus on operational work.

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Additionally, the data captured using iHawk and iSim (our software development specifically for substation asset management) will be integrated into a new asset management system being deployed at SSEN.

Provision of a cloud-based visual asset management system, iHawk, which:

- Hosts all new inspection information from UAVs, lines persons and fitters
- Hosts legacy inspection information from historic sources such as spreadsheets and helicopter - patrols
- Allows inspection information to be queried and the generation of repair and maintenance works orders
- Hosts ESQCR data allowing identification of high-risk sites
- Provides ability to find the tower location using distance to fault information
- Provides analytic network data


Ian Gray, Head of Transmission Operations and Maintenance at SSEN commented:

“SSEN has been working with Cyberhawk since 2009, and our confidence in the team’s ability continues to grow. Not only are the experienced pilots able to safely and efficiently capture an extremely intricate level of detail, but the addition of iHawk means we have fit-for-purpose, intuitive asset management software. We regularly refer to the data contained in iHawk to make decisions and develop maintenance schedules.”

Want to learn more?

Get our brochure here.

Get in Touch

If you would like to speak with one of our experts directly, you can do so here.