Drones measuring electric fields are used to check the state of the grid in Great Britain

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In a joint effort between the University of Manchester and the UK’s National Electricity Authority, a cutting-edge drone-mounted system is being developed to measure the electric fields of overhead power lines. This three-year, £1.1 million endeavor, supported by Ofgem’s Network Innovation Allowance (NIA), aims to engineer sensor technology that can effectively monitor the condition of high-voltage insulators on power lines. Typically made of glass or ceramic, these insulators play a critical role in shielding the poles that support the transmission lines from becoming energized.