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Estimation of Wooden Cross-Arm Integrity Using Artificial Neural Networks and Laser Vibrometry

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4 Author(s)
Stack, J. ; Georgia Institute of Technology; NEETRAC; Air2 LLC ; Harley, R. G. ; Springer, P. ; Mahaffey, J. A.

A significant problem faced by utility operators is the degradation and failure of wooden cross-arms on transmission line support structures. A nondestructive, noncontact, reliable method is proposed that can evaluate the structural integrity of these cross-arms quickly and cost-effectively. This method utilizes a helicopter-based laser vibrometer to measure vibrations induced in a cross-arm by the helicopter's rotors and engine. An artificial neural network (ANN) then uses these vibration spectra to estimate cross-arm breaking strength. The first type of ANN employed is the feed-forward artificial neural network (FFANN). After proper training, the FFANN can reliably discern healthy cross-arms from those that are in need of replacement based on vibration spectra. Next, a self-organizing map is applied to this same problem, and its advantages are discussed. Finally, an FFANN-based data compression scheme is presented for use as a preprocessor for the vibration spectra.

Published in:

Power Engineering Review, IEEE  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 12 )