Pulling socks with drones

1111 sock pull main 16x9

Interesting read from AOPA.

For anyone outside of the energy industry, the term “sock pull” may sound like a companion prank to “short-sheeting” a roommate’s bed, or a warm-up exercise at a slumber party. It describes the high-wire act of stringing lightweight lines known as “socks” over pulleys and stretching the rope to the next tower so that the much heavier power cable can then follow.

This tricky work is a step beyond the inspections that gave companies like SkySkopes of Grand Forks, North Dakota, an entry into the energy industry. CEO Matt Dunlevy and the company’s pilots have been inspecting infrastructure, including gas lines and power lines, for years, measuring snowfall accumulation and vegetation encroachment, sniffing for gas leaks, and collecting images from visible cameras and LIDAR units. In early 2018, they cut their teeth on their first drone sock pull, bellying up to 765-kilovolt towers and managing a long list of risks particular to such a high-energy, obstacle-rich, and dynamic environment.

Read more.


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