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Publications (eBooks) - click on the eBook title to go to book page

Focusing on Results!  Applications Involving LIDAR and Digital Imagery

Assigning Risk Indicators to Hazard Trees


TopGun Veg-Tool:  ROW Vegetation Management

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TopGun Veg-Tool:  User’s Manual


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Aerotec’s TopGun Veg-Tool
Aerotec’s TopGun Veg-Tool is a patented (US 8,374,431 B2, US 8,724,900 B2, & US 9,140,548 B2), lightweight, single-operator device that, from a single spot within a given span of an electric power transmission line, can be used to take “
single shot” measurements of multiple suspect trees, both inside and outside span boundaries, to:

  • Provide accurate and easy-to-read (PASS/FAIL) vegetation clearance analysis results,
  • Identify the tree as a violation of specific clearance criteria for
    • Multiple risk levels
      • “Planning” cycle normal operations
      • “Action” required within the near term
      • “Urgent” remedial steps required in the immediate future
      • "Critical" remedial steps required today
    • Multiple conductor operating conditions
      • As-Flown
      • Maximum SAG
      • Maximum BLOWOUT
      • Maximum ICE.
    • Multiple geographic boundaries
      • Inside the right-of-way
      • Outside the right-of-way
    • Multiple clearance violation types
      • Grow-in
      • Fall-in
      • Edge trimming.
  • Locate the specific vegetation violation(s) for purposes of
    • Marking/flagging the offending tree for cutting/trimming operations
    • Auditing the site after cutting/trimming operations are complete
    • Reporting work progress
    • Re-inspecting the site at some time into the future
    • Communicating the specific violation(s) using an ESRI-compatible shape file

Aerotec's TopGun Veg-Tool has a

  • GPS antenna for accurate positioning
  • ​Laser rangefinder for determining slope range to target
  • Compass for accurate azimuth measurements
  • Inclinometer for accurate elevation measurements
  • Camera to photograph the violation(s) extent
  • Cellular phone to transmit the violation record.

Aerotec's TopGun Veg-Tool enables its operator to

  • Collect other specific information about vegetation violating clearance criteria, such as
    • Stem diameter at breast height
    • Species
    • Growth observations year-to-year
  • Package the analysis results and associated observations/measurements (shape file) for
    • GIS database population or update
    • Work management software packages.

Picayune, MS---Aerotec, a leader in topographic maps and models, was recently awarded U.S. Patent 8374431 for its Top-Gun Veg-tool. The technology is used by utility foresters to identify, locate, analyze, and report vegetation clearance violations on electric power transmission rights-of-way.