Routing Algorithm and Cost Analysis for using Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in High Voltage Transmission Line Inspection


With the rapid development of robotics technology, robots are increasingly used to conduct various tasks by utility companies. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is one of the efficient robots that can be used to implement high voltage transmission line inspection. One bottleneck of the existing UAV technologies used in transmission line inspection is the limited capacity of the lithium battery. The practitioners need to land the UAVs and replace the lithium battery frequently to complete a certain range of inspection. In this paper, the team explores the feasibility of using hydrogen fuel cell as the power to support UAV in transmission line inspection. A routing algorithm is proposed to guide the motion of the ground team and the schedule of the landing points of the UAV. The cost is analyzed and compared to the scenario that traditional lithium battery is used. A case study is implemented to validate the effectiveness of the proposed routing algorithm and examine the performance in terms of cost effectiveness.

Meeting Name

39th International Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management: Bridging the Gap Between Engineering and Business, ASEM 2018 (2018: Oct. 17-20, Coeur d'Alene, ID)


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center


This work is supported by Ameren through the project titled “A Survey of Robotics Technology Used by Utility Companies for Costs Reduction”.

Keywords and Phrases

Cost model; Routing algorithm; Transmission line inspection; UAV

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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