Today short-circuit indicators (SCI) are used to track short circuits on overhead line wires. They measure the short-circuit current in a particular wire and transmit the information to the receiving station. According to the company ANTRAX, the oldest developer and manufacturer of short-circuit indicators in Russia, such devices allow you to determine the location of the damage, accelerate the elimination of the accident and reduce the time of power outage for consumers.

In Russia and in the world manual labor is used to install the infrared radiation on the overhead line. The brigade rises to the supports of the power transmission lines (PTL) and, with the help of the locating rod, hooks the set of SCI on the wire.

Today, the sensors on the power lines are installed manually

To automate this process, we developed a unique technology for installing and removing sensors using a UAV.

The installation is one touch of an SCI installed on a special UAV site, to the wire of an overhead transmission line.
Withdrawal is the touch of a special catcher, installed on the UAV, to the SCI.


For installation and removal of short-circuit indicators we have developed:

  • experimental UAV platform, allowing to fly up to the wire from below;
  • a special platform (basket) for installing the sensor on the copter;
  • a special clamp for securing the SCI on a wire that was not previously used on any of the existing indicators.

“The platform flies to the wire from the bottom, is positioned and rises upward, bringing the set of infrared radiation to the installation site. After contact with the wire, the mechanism that activates the clamp is activated and the sensor is fixed. Then the UAV falls to the ground, – said Sergey Derbenev, the technologist of the FutureLab.

The moment of approaching the UAV to the wire for mounting the sensor

Advantages of the solution

To check the possibility of installation of SCI on the  line with the help of UAV, we conducted laboratory and bench testing. As a result, we have proved the efficiency of the technology.

So the copter sets the sensor:

So removes:

Arnold Shastin, professor, scientific director of the FutureLab, highlighted several advantages of the developed solution:

  • for the installation of sensors, there will now be no need to disconnect the power line, and so there will be no downtime of equipment and financial losses;
  • manual labor is excluded, which means that the safety of electricians is increased: injuries and mortality are reduced;
  • reduces the time for installing sensors: do not need to call a large wiring team and specialized equipment.

How to use the device

Now with the help of UAVs, we can install sensors on wires with a diameter of 11 to 13 mm. In the future, we plan to expand this range – from 10 to 24 mm.

In addition to SCI sensors using UAVs, vibration dampers, signal balls, ice sensors and other devices can be installed.

FutureLab team after successful tests