Detecting Power Lines Using Point Instance Network for Distribution Line Inspection

Moheddin U. Sumagayan, Chinthaka Premachandra, Rohanni B. Mangorsi, Carl John Salaan, H. Waruna H. Premachandra, Hiroharu Kawanaka, Moheddin U. Sumagayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Power outages can disrupt daily domestic activities as well as the economy as operations are hampered when they occur. They can decrease work productivity by delaying operations that require electricity. The key solution to this problem is to ensure that there are fewer or no power interruptions. This can be achieved by ensuring secure and continuous network operations through regular maintenance and inspection. However, the traditional inspection technique of foot patrol is risky, laborious, and time-consuming. A preferable contemporary technique uses an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for inspecting distribution lines. Detecting power lines are crucial for real-time motion planning and navigation of UAVs. Previous techniques that depend on conventional filters and gradients may fail to detect power lines because of noisy backgrounds. Thus, this study proposes a novel technique by adopting the Transfer Learning approach. The process involves re-training the Point Instance Network (a road lane detection model) with images for power line detection. The proposed method extends the PINet model by adding a comparator for rotation block before it and a postprocessing block after it. This study generates four versions of the model, each of which was trained on one of the following datasets (i) self-gathered images captured by a handheld camera, (ii) a drone, (iii) publicly accessible images from the Power Line Dataset of Mountain Scene (PLDM), and (iv) Power Line Dataset of Urban Scene (PLDU). Experimental results on each dataset confirm the feasibility of the proposed approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9502686
Pages (from-to)107998-108008
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Machine vision
  • power distribution lines
  • transfer learning
  • unmanned aerial vehicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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