Real-time UAV routing strategy for monitoring and inspection for post-disaster restoration of distribution networks

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Natural disasters pose a tremendous risk to the reliability of distribution networks. In this paper, a novel real-time UAV routing strategy for coordination between monitoring and inspection for post-disaster restoration in distribution networks is proposed. With our proposed real-time UAV routing strategy, damages can be inspected by UAVs for post-disaster restoration. Besides, transmission lines can be monitored to find potential dangers, and road infrastructure can also be monitored to provide real-time information about traffic conditions so that repair crews can select the best ways to reach damages. In addition, due to unpredictable events during restoration, the UAV routing strategy and schedule need to be updated in real time. Then, to tackle the multi-time-scale characteristic of the proposed UAV routing strategy, a two-layer computation architecture is proposed. A case study based on the distribution network in Zaltbommel, the Netherlands, illustrates the effectiveness of the proposed method compared to other approaches.