Aerial image analysis using spiking neural networks with application to power line corridor monitoring

Li, Zhengrong (2011) Aerial image analysis using spiking neural networks with application to power line corridor monitoring. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Trees, shrubs and other vegetation are of continued importance to the environment and our daily life. They provide shade around our roads and houses, offer a habitat for birds and wildlife, and absorb air pollutants. However, vegetation touching power lines is a risk to public safety and the environment, and one of the main causes of power supply problems. Vegetation management, which includes tree trimming and vegetation control, is a significant cost component of the maintenance of electrical infrastructure. For example, Ergon Energy, the Australia’s largest geographic footprint energy distributor, currently spends over $80 million a year inspecting and managing vegetation that encroach on power line assets. Currently, most vegetation management programs for distribution systems are calendar-based ground patrol. However, calendar-based inspection by linesman is labour-intensive, time consuming and expensive. It also results in some zones being trimmed more frequently than needed and others not cut often enough. Moreover, it’s seldom practicable to measure all the plants around power line corridors by field methods. Remote sensing data captured from airborne sensors has great potential in assisting vegetation management in power line corridors. This thesis presented a comprehensive study on using spiking neural networks in a specific image analysis application: power line corridor monitoring. Theoretically, the thesis focuses on a biologically inspired spiking cortical model: pulse coupled neural network (PCNN). The original PCNN model was simplified in order to better analyze the pulse dynamics and control the performance. Some new and effective algorithms were developed based on the proposed spiking cortical model for object detection, image segmentation and invariant feature extraction. The developed algorithms were evaluated in a number of experiments using real image data collected from our flight trails. The experimental results demonstrated the effectiveness and advantages of spiking neural networks in image processing tasks. Operationally, the knowledge gained from this research project offers a good reference to our industry partner (i.e. Ergon Energy) and other energy utilities who wants to improve their vegetation management activities. The novel approaches described in this thesis showed the potential of using the cutting edge sensor technologies and intelligent computing techniques in improve power line corridor monitoring. The lessons learnt from this project are also expected to increase the confidence of energy companies to move from traditional vegetation management strategy to a more automated, accurate and cost-effective solution using aerial remote sensing techniques.

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ID Code: 46161
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Hayward, Ross, Walker, Rodney, & Zhang, Jinglan
Keywords: biologically inspired image processing, pulse coupled neural network, power line corridor monitoring, aerial remote sensing, vegetation management, geographic object based image analysis, image segmentation, visual feature extraction, machine learning
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 26 Sep 2011 02:48
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 14:42

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