Bushfire safety patrols

March 2015

Aerial and ground patrols of the electricity network are an essential part of maintaining a safe and reliable power supply. Hazards and defects on poles or powerlines, including trees growing too close, slack wires or defects on cross-arms and insulators, have the potential to cause blackouts and bushfires.

As part of our bushfire safety plan, Ausgrid works with stakeholders including the Rural Fire Service, local councils and community groups to help protect the network and the community. Hazard reduction programs, including vegetation clearing, are carried out in high-risk parts of the network.

Thermal topography

Our LiDAR patrols provide high resolution photographs and radar imaging so we can check for vegetation growing within safe clearances around powerlines.

The radar sends and records 300,000 pulses every second to create a three-dimensional representation of the network and is capable identifying branch heights with an accuracy of within two centimetres.