The ITT for a feasibility study towards services for “Maintenance and recovery of high voltage electricity transport systems” (AO7564) is now out, and will close on September 2nd 2013. The ITT documents can be downloaded from EMITS, under the “Open ITT section”.
The objective of the study is to evaluate the added value, the technical feasibility and the commercial viability of services combining space and non-space assets for the improvement of maintenance and recovery of high voltage electricity transportation infrastructure, and to specify a viable and sustainable integrated solution to support electricity transmission operators, distribution operators and/or providers of infrastructure inspection services.
Electricity networks are the critical infrastructure that contributes most to the continuity and well-being of society. Not supplying electricity greatly affects consumers; it also results in revenue losses for electricity producers, transmission operators and distribution operators. One estimates that the total welfare and cost to the European Economy caused by a failure of electricity networks is approximately 36 billion euros per annum. High Voltage electricity transport networks are sensitive. Improving electricity supply continuity requires careful maintenance and efficient recovery.
The feasibility study is aimed at addressing the needs expressed by the user communities. In particular, reference users indicated two major groups of needs:
Primarily three space enabled capabilities are deemed relevant for integration into the potential services:
In addition space robotic technologies may be of interest in the context of mobile robots assessing the infrastructure elements by close inspection. Data processing algorithms (e.g. for data compression or anomaly detection) developed by the space industry may also prove useful. The management of risks from extreme events would likely benefit from weather forecasts enhanced by assimilation of space-borne data.
The study will define the most appropriate system architecture to fulfil user requirements, and investigate its technical feasibility and business viability.