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Hazard Tree Identification Features Satellite Technology and AI

Sept. 26, 2022
New capability boosts electric grid reliability by up to 30% by enabling efficient and accurate inspection of each and every tree, every year.

AiDash has announced new hazard tree identification capabilities in its Intelligent Vegetation Management System (IVMS). The innovation, developed and validated in the field with AiDash customers and staff arborists, uses satellite technology and AI to rapidly inspect each and every tree in an entire network — inside and outside the Rights of Way (ROW) — to find individual, unhealthy trees destined to cause customer outages.

Typically hazard trees cause more than 70% of system outages, yet only 30% of vegetation management budgets are spent on hazard tree programs due to the amount of effort in manual inspections and the “needle in a haystack” nature of the problem. Due to the impact of climate change, drought, and pest infestation, trees are dying at a faster rate — further exacerbating the hazard tree problem.

“Traditional inspections simply won’t work anymore,” said Abhishek Singh, co-founder and CEO of AiDash. “They’re slow and expensive, and by the time a tree shows it’s unhealthy, it’s too late. Satellite technology is the only solution available that can identify unhealthy trees this quickly and accurately. LiDAR lacks spectral depth and only picks up a few wavelengths, but satellites can see a broad spectrum of wavelengths and provide electromagnetic depth – yielding unique information about vegetation health. With satellites you can quickly find the unhealthy trees in your entire network and reduce your vegetation outages by 20-30%.”

Now utilities’ arborists can go directly to specific areas to understand and mitigate hazard trees and their causes. Using the IVMS mobile app on a phone or tablet, an inspector can report a tree with photos and detailed information. That task can then be assigned as part of a planned removal or handled ad hoc by a crew. Utilities can also leverage the savings from their IVMS cycle trim program by applying those funds to prioritized areas in their hazard tree program, resulting in significant reliability improvements.

“Hazard trees are the classic needle in the haystack, but they are far more dangerous,” said David James, manager of wildfire resiliency plan, Avista. “Now AiDash will allow us to detect them quickly and efficiently so we can mitigate that risk and improve our system reliability.”

AiDash last week officially launched its Intelligent Vegetation Management System with hazard tree identification at the Trees and Utilities National Conference (Sept. 20-22) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin AiDash was a sponsor of the event and their Technology Evangelist, Jordan Jozak, lead a panel discussion on satellite-based vegetation management.

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