Malawi Journal of Science and Technology

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Survey design of overhead electrical transmission lines: a comparative study of global positioning system, total station, and unmanned aerial vehicle

Robert S.B. Galatiya Suya


Before an Overhead Electrical Transmission line is constructed, a design survey to map the transmission corridor is necessary. Overhead Electrical Transmission line projects in Malawi employ both Total Station (TS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) techniques. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are capable of providing meter-level accuracy in engineering surveys. However, the performance of UAV in Malawi still remains unknown against the commonly adopted approaches in line routing. Thus, this paper compares the use of Global Positioning System, the UAV and the TS in routing of electric infrastructure for Gogode 33 kV reticulation in Kasungu District. Leica GPS1200 + series receiver, Leica TS and Parrot Bepop Drone were used in fixing a 10 km transmission line. The Most Probable Value and Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) were used as accuracy measurement in Microsoft Excel and AutoCAD Civil 3D. The results indicated better performance in TS positioning than in the other approaches. Thus, it was unveiled that Bepop Drone may be used to estimate structure intervals in circumstances where the GPS and Total Station are integrated in alignment observations.

Keywords: Angle Points, Geomatics Engineer Structure, Transmission Line, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

AJOL African Journals Online