transmission line monitor

Satellite-Enabled Predictive Power Line Monitoring Technology Hits the Market

Iridium Communications has announced a new partnership with Lindsey Manufacturing that expands Iridium’s footprint in the transmission utility day-ahead-power-transfer capacity market by integrating satellite communications with transmission line analytic solutions.

Lindsey Manufacturing specializes in power line conductor behavior monitoring, which typically relies on cellular connectivity. Its new software solution, called SMARTLINE, enhances traditional DLR methods for utility companies by enabling more reliable and accurate measurement capabilities and better managing power line capacity to maximize the power grid. They do this through leveraging the Iridium network and integrating their advanced software and technology directly with an Iridium 9603 modem. The integrated device is then attached to the energized, extremely high voltage conductor and can store all collected data in a cloud-based site and/or on a company’s server. The kinds of electric line data the software can provide are 24-hour and two-hour look-ahead load capacity, 99-percent accurate forecasting capabilities, conductor temperature, and conductor clearance to ground data points. Utilities using SMARTLINE DLR technology will have access to these capabilities and data for transmission lines located anywhere on the planet, including remote areas where communication infrastructure is typically compromised or largely unavailable.

The first SMARTLINE DLR system was installed with Hydro Quebec, a major hydropower utility for that region. Iridium and Lindsey Manufacturing both anticipate that this technology has the potential for global installation, drastically improving and streamlining the way utilities operate and use the power grid today.

Iridium is currently in the process of replacing its existing global low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite network with 66 new satellites, known as Iridium NEXT. A network replacement of this scale is unprecedented, and Iridium NEXT has been coined one of the largest “tech refreshes” in history. The first 10 Iridium NEXT satellites were successfully launched by SpaceX on its Falcon 9 rocket on Jan. 14.  On Feb. 23, the company announced that the first Iridium NEXT satellite became operational, providing voice and data services to Iridium’s customers with the existing constellation. Iridium NEXT is backward-compatible with existing devices, meaning it will support the existing services operating on the network throughout the transition to Iridium NEXT.

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