The helicopter laser-scan system is an ideal tool for very high resolution digital terrain models (DTMs) for the planning, management and maintenance of electric power lines. Thanks to the helicopter, surveys are made quickly over any terrain, irrespective of its nature. The DTM and the integration of images collected at the same time as the laser data, allows the classification of pylons, transmission or distribustion substations and the calculation of catenaries. DTMs also allow the reckoning of safety zones around cables and pylons.
It is a valuable support tool in the analysis of power load optimisation and planning of operations relating to the safety of the systems involved. By using remotely sensed data, which is geo-referenced and integrable with GIS systems, it is also possible to calculate models of the distribution of electromagnetic fields around power lines close to inhabited areas.