Catesby Estates: Using a 3D scanner mounted on a 15m pneumatic pole to enable the removal of two spans of 132kv overhead line on towers

UTSS Utility Transmission Survey Solutions

Overhead line (OHL) surveys are the bread and butter of services we offer at UTSS. These types of surveys allow us to provide vital data, allowing us to create accurate design models of solutions for a range of services including cable avoidance, utilities and vegetation management.

The Issue

Catesby Estates were looking for a solution to enable two spans of 132kv overhead line on towers to be removed – this was with a view to them seeking opportunities for housing development. In this instance, we were working for the land promoter and not the distribution network operator (DNO) so had no right of entry to obtain the survey data.

Our Approach

Firstly, we identified all line routes and potential hazards on site. Using a GPS and theodolite we recorded all ground and vertical features including slope distance, zenith angle and the horizontal distance of the slope. The resulting figures allowed us to produce a ground and line design map.

For us to view the overhead powerline without entering the landowner’s property we used a 3D scanner mounted on a 15m pneumatic pole, giving us an aerial view of the gardens. For the areas that were accessible, we undertook some standard tripod-based scans. We did look at alternative methods of execution such as:


  • helicopter LiDAR solution
  • fixed wing LiDAR solution
  • 3D laser scan – good solution but wouldn’t capture the data within the fenced garden areas

The Results

Our surveys and OHL design maps enabled Catesby Estates to provide on-site intelligence to network operators for solutions that impact investments, the environment and underground utilities.

Ultimately, UTSS bridged the gap between practicality and affordability for the client whilst also demonstrating the variety of approaches to an OHL survey.

Clients we've worked with