Sparking a new approach to vegetation management

By Paul Sipos, Market Development Manager on

Maintaining assets in the field is a difficult exercise for any organisation tasked with the activity. Harsh and unpredictable climatic conditions, together with vast geographical distances (think Australia and the US) make undertaking preventative maintenance, such as vegetation management, a tricky proposition. Thankfully technology can help.

The combination of two innovative products – GeoSpark and datafuse3D – harnessing the power of mobility, LIDAR and the Internet of Things is offering asset intensive organisations a head start in effective maintenance of field-based assets. It automates time consuming physical and paper based processes, such as asset inspection, while providing organisations with an audit trail that any mandated regulations will satisfy………

There is gathering evidence that the effects of climate change are making some areas more susceptible to destructive environmental events such as wildfires. Higher spring and summer temperatures and earlier spring snow-melt typically cause soils to be drier for longer, increasing the likelihood of drought and a longer wildfire season, particularly in the western US.

These hot, dry conditions also increase the likelihood that, once wildfires are started by lightning strikes or human error, they will be more intense and long-burning. In the face of these trends the need to prevent damage from vegetation that is too close to assets is essential.

datafuse3D has been developed in collaboration between vegetation management expert Nigel Barry CEO of Intelfuse and The University of Melbourne. By deploying LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), a surveying technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser light, it builds up a comprehensive picture of an asset (such as a power pole, or power line), and the exact proximity of any objects or vegetation that may surround it. Using those measurements, datafuse3D can then apply rule-based protocols to help organisations decide whether vegetation maintenance needs to be scheduled.

Used in combination, GeoSpark (Oxygen, a DXC Technologies Company’s cloud-based, mobile work order management app) and datafuse3D give organisations the ability to receive remote inspection results, schedule work orders, assign resources, and execute any cut and clearing activities.

Intelfuse also helps solve one of the key issues that beleaguer asset intensive companies – an incomplete understanding of exactly where field assets are located. Often work crews are despatched to a site only to find that the asset is not in the indicated spot. This creates maintenance delays and leads to inefficiencies in the work order execution cycle. Using LIDAR feeds from satellites, drones and aircraft, the Intelfuse engine builds up a precise geo-location of the asset.

For more information about the capabilities of GeoSpark and Intelfuse please contact us at