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Managing Utility Assets with Jagwire

Patrick Collins

Jagwire was developed as a way to manage a number of different Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) platforms simultaneously while promoting the ability to share information among both those operating these systems and those who are interested in the information being captured by those operators. It promotes advanced search and discovery, and enables users to tag images, video, and other data sources creating a searchable library of information about those assets for future reference.

While it was originally developed for the military, Jagwire has been adopted by a number of industries that are using commercial UAS to manage utility assets in the field. Reduced restrictions on the ability for civilians to fly these platforms at low altitudes has created a unique opportunity to leverage them for this type of work, and Jagwire has provided an out-of-the-box solution for the management and analysis of the data coming from them.

One such industry is the power industry, which has been using UAS to monitor the status of power poles within their districts. The use of UAS greatly reduces the amount of resources needed to go out into the field and determine whether or not the poles are rotting by giving a quick picture of the top of the pole without having to climb it. Jagwire also hooks into ENVI Image Analysis software, so that advanced image analysis can be done on these poles on the server, giving unique insight into the health of the poles that might not be visible with the naked eye.

However, once a utility company has captured these images, it can be difficult to manage the hundreds or thousands of images that have been taken across a region.  Jagwire allows these businesses to easily ingest and manage those images, leveraging the geo-referencing metadata captured by the UAS to place them on a map. Since Jagwire is accessed through a webpage, stakeholders or other interested parties can be given access to the system to be able to see and download the images taken by the platform.

 

Another use case for these businesses comes into play after a disaster such as high winds, a hurricane, or other event that may disrupt the power grid. Jagwire is capable of streaming live video directly from the platform, which enables stakeholders back at an operations center to see damages to the grid in real-time. The use of UAS also allows access to areas that might be unreachable due to road or other infrastructure damage. This enables utility companies to make more informed decisions in a shorter amount of time, without having to wait for surveys from the field to return to the office, or for that information to be relayed back to the operations center.

A final consideration is the recent investment in the development of Jagwire Mobile. For those UAS that are flown with the use of an iPad, Jagwire mobile allows users to quickly and easily send images back to the Jagwire server directly from the capturing iPad, which promotes field utility and decreases the amount of time it takes to go from image capture to decision making. Jagwire is also compatible with numerous different UAS platforms, which means there is less time spent configuring the server to capture relevant metadata from the platform.

In the end, we are excited to see industries such as the Power industry turning to UAS platforms to improve efficiencies in their workflows and improve the accuracy of their surveys. We are even more excited to be able to offer Jagwire as an out-of-the-box system that can serve the needs of these companies as they move into a new era of operation success.

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