Inspection and maintenance innovations for power transmission systems

Knowing the actual age of our equipment is critical when developing optimal investment strategies. Determining an accurate picture of the condition of our conductors and line components will help us make informed decisions on extending equipment life and future investments.

Our inspection and maintenance solutions allow us to safely inspect transmission lines in a wide range of geographic and climatic conditions without compromising continuity of service.

DRONES – A revolution in transmission line inspection and maintenance

Hydro-Québec has developed a drone prototype specialized in direct-contact inspection of high-voltage power transmission lines.


  • Drone with eight motors and propellers (octocopter)
  • Single-conductor landings and a motorized rolling system for travelling along the line
  • Immunity to 315-kV electromagnetic fields
  • Pilot aid system for conductor landings


  • LineCore for corrosion detection
  • Obstacle detection (under development)
  • Anti-collision system (under development)


Hydro-Québec is developing drones in order to include them in its inspection solutions. It has set up a program to develop specialized products for the power industry. Its objectives are:

  • Develop the technical standards for using UAVs for inspecting electrical installations
  • Carry out an in-depth analysis of existing UAVs (with priority given to vertical take-off and landing aircraft) and their capabilities
  • Study the cost-effectiveness and appropriateness of using UAVs for high-value-added tasks during the construction and operation of power generation, transmission and distribution installations, as well as the challenges associated with their deployment
  • Define ambitious targets to develop innovative inspection and maintenance techniques
  • Develop smart task-specific devices that combine performance, safety, reliability and ruggedness
  • Design specialized subsystems and instrumentation
  • Comply with current regulations, specifically with respect to obtaining Special Flight Operations Certificates (SFOC) and the right to privacy