Challenges for The Overhead Power Transmission Line Surveyors Overseas T.Ch.

Hanuman Rao, FIE, Consultant for Overhead Power Transmission Line construction Overhead Power Transmission Line is the medium for power evacuation from a substation/switchyard to another sub-station/switchyard. An imaginary line drawn from the both terminal points is called Bee-Line and the efficiency of the surveyor is seen in making a shortest line possible with minimum number of supports (towers). This is the reason a surveyor is the heart of the Transmission Line. Unlike in any other field, a Transmission Line surveyor is always around till the entire line is constructed. His role starts with the preliminary survey till the construction of the line. This is one of the reason why many Transmission Line surveyors end up as mangers and continue to climb the management ladders by their involvement. Usually a Transmission Line surveyor of about 15 years does not remain as a surveyor but becomes a manager of the organization by sheer knowledge he gains at site. Overhead power transmission line survey consists of surveying long stretches running into hundreds of kilometers of land with relatively smaller corridor, say about 50m. This involves crossing boundaries of various villages, towns, districts, states as well as countries. The objective of the survey is to locate transmission line supports (towers) as the specification that is finalized by the utility (owners of the line for the power evacuation) the surveyor for Transmission Line has the major challenges • • • • • • • • Collect the topo sheets and geo-reference them as per the datum of the country Prepare the Transmission Line route on the topo-sheets Mark the angle points on the ground Detail survey by using precision tools like Total station and DGPS for capturing the data Tower spotting and tower schedules Stake out the tower position on the ground with accuracy Prepare the tree enumeration Beyond the survey he has to assist the contruction team in o Aligning the tower foundation in the route accurately o Bisect angle points accurately o Ensure that the stubs are aligned to the required slope of the tower structure as per the design o Check the tower for its verticality and twist o Check the sag of the conductors after strining is done • 1) Collect the topo sheets and geo-reference them as per the datum of the country

The final route has to be finalized after physical verification of the proposed angle points 3) Mark the angle points on the ground The surveyor has to ensure that the finalized route alignment is translated to the ground by marking the angle point by proper route markers 4) Detail survey a) Unlike the land survey. [the sheets would aligned as per the UTM coordinates]. In case the topo-sheets are obtained in vector format. The points where the straight stretches deviate are called angle point where the line takes a deviation. 2) Prepare the Transmission Line route on the topo-sheets The route alignment is prepared on the mosaic prepared by joining the topo-sheets together and ensuring that the route is shortest and yet feasible to be constructed. In case of the topo-sheets are raster images. the sheets get geo-referenced by automatically. especially that of African continent. The datum differ from country to country and sometimes within country zone to zone etc.a) The biggest challenges for the Transmission Line surveyor is to project the data on to the required maps. c) The challenge the Transmission Line surveyors have in front of them is to first know what the local datum is. [India and many of the gulf countries have now standardized the datum to WGS 84] d) The topo-sheets are usually procured from the survey authority of the country. Thus one has to know the position of the survey points with its longitude and latitude. For this GPS is used. The surveyor has to have skills for the preparation of route alignment. The data thus accurately measured has to be plotted and for this the geodetic coordinates (longitude and latitude) have to be converted to two dimensional coordinates called UTM (universal transverse Mercator) coordinates b) The UTM coordinates depends upon the datum (the basis of map projection). in hilly area. the details to be capture are lesser than 20m. If there is a level difference across the corridor. the sheets have to be geo-referenced and the surveyor has to have the skills to align the sheets to the desired coordinates. which is confined to a square kilometers. since the survey authority of the countries have not yet completely migrated to global datum WGS 84. The type of . the transmission line survey involves continuous long stretch and capturing the ground profile at every 20m or so if there is not much undulations. or if the land has much undulations. the levels at 2m intervals are also necessary to be taken. The curvature of globe is no of significance in most of the land survey jobs whereas it plays a role in Transmission Line survey. This is of significance for the reason that the transmission lines comprises of various straight stretches called a sections and joined together to form the Transmission Line. This is critical in the countries. b) It is vital that the data collected is given an identifiable address for verification and identification at a later stage. map projection is the method of identifying the features on the globe into two dimension maps for marking/identifying.

b) At this stage [termed as check survey] the further details of approach to location. Thorough knowledge of the effects of shifting a tower by a few meters due to unforeseen obstacle is required. nearest village/town. the tower schedules are to be prepared and the strength of the towers are to be checked with the tower spotting data provided by the designers f) The surveyor has to have a knowledge of proposing a suitable raised chimney or leg extension wherever the ground has significant undulations.tower to be used at the angle point depends on the angle of turn (angle of deviation). He has to take a call on the basis of the accuracy of the instruments. It differs from country/terrain and as such a surveyor should be thorough with them c) The surveyor has to have knowledge of designing sag template. c) The challenge the surveyor faces is the data of Total Station and GPS would have a slight mismatch. The tree enumeration is the basis for arriving at the cost of damaging the crops and trees The author can be reached at tchhrao@gmail. the larger the tower. the details of the owners of the land etc are identified. 5) Tower spotting a) The surveyor has to prepare the ground profiles.com . its operation and calibration. Usually DGPS has higher accuracy and the Total Station data has to be fine-tuned d) The surveyor has to posses the knowledge of Total Station. The higher the angle of deviation. the surveyor would face a big challenge from the owner of the land and his skills of public relation and diplomacy come into fore c) The angle points have to be bisected 7) Prepare the tree enumeration The surveyor has to take a skill of a botanist to identify the species of the trees that are to be felled/trimmed across the corridor. plans and identify the obstacles for spotting the towers b) The scales for the ground profiles differ for the horizontal and vertical measurements. The challenge before surveyor is to identify the need for them and minimize the riveting and benching 6) Stake out the tower position on the ground with accuracy a) Surveyor has to stake the towers on the ground and this requires his skills for finetuning at this stage. and use it for tower spotting d) The knowledge of software like plscadd would be very good but if one is not thorough with the software the results would be disastrous e) Once the towers are spotted.

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