The new "THOR" System (patent pending), developed jointly by AIR2, LLC and Entergy's Transmission Services Technology Delivery Group for testing the strength of wooden cross arms, is now available for commercial use, Thomas P. McShane, president and CEO of AIR2 announced last week. The THOR System is the result of more than five years of research and development efforts. The system accurately and scientifically determines the strength of wooden cross arms.

Wooden transmission structures support roughly 50% of the electric transmission system miles in the United States and Canada. The THOR System addresses the need of the transmission industry to gain confidence in the reliability of these structures.

THOR is deployed by helicopter and provides a means of rapidly, accurately and cost-effectively identifying weak arms that are likely to fail and in need of replacement, from strong arms that can safely remain in service. This eliminates the guesswork currently involved in selective cross arm replacement. It also measurably improves system reliability.

Traditional methods, including visual examination and hammer sounding, are unreliable and result in the expensive errors of (1) replacing sound arms unnecessarily and (2) failing to identify and replace all weak arms. The THOR System delivers a quantifiable and reliable method of selecting cross arms for replacement.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer the electric transmission industry, this advanced and innovative solution to the huge problem of untimely cross arm failures,” states AIR2 president and CEO, Thomas P. McShane.

“We at Entergy are delighted with the success of the THOR System and proud to have contributed to its development,” said Doug Mader, director, Entergy Transmission Services Technology Delivery Group.