First BVLoS Power Line Inspection Flight in New Zealand

2017-03-21

First BVLoS Power Line Inspection Flight in New Zealand
A Taranaki drone company has made history by flying an unmanned aircraft ”beyond line of sight to inspect power transmission lines in the Rimutaka Ranges.

Drone Technologies Ltd used an unmanned aerial vehicle controlled remotely by a team on the ground, to survey a 30 kilometre section of transmission lines and towers in the Rimutaka ranges for Transpower. It was New Zealand’s first beyond line of sight flight and could see drones being used more by industry and agriculture, and for delivering goods in difficult situations, Drone Technologies ceo Ben Plummer said.

“This opens up the door for other uses, such as delivering parcels and medical supplies to remote locations or communities in crisis, he said.

Sophisticated technology enabled the UAV aircraft to fly low over difficult terrain and in risky conditions where a human pilot would not be able to go.

It is cost-comparable solution to manned aircraft and eliminates a risk because it doesnt require someone to physically be there to navigate.

The February 24 flight was made possible by the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authoritys new beyond line of sight framework, which opened NZ airspace to the unmanned air vehicles under strict conditions.
The drone flight was carried out with the same procedures, safety checks and planning as a manned flight. It required a flight plan, getting permission to operate in that airspace at that time, and intensive training for the pilots.

Its classed as an aircraft. The ground crew effectively become the pilots, Plummer said.

During the 54 minute flight they flew a rotary craft along the line as well to collect a different data set. The rotary craft was able to hover close to the structures and get close-up footage of towers and lines. The event was comparable to the introduction of GPS technology, which was developed for military uses and was initially very expensive, but just a few years later was commonplace in smartphones, cars and other devices. Transpower would study the data collected on the flight and decide if it would begin using UAVs on a larger scale to monitor transmission lines and equipment. Transpowers general manager of grid development, Stephen Jay, said the company had been working with the Civil Aviation Authority to trial drone flights near its transmission lines and towers since 2013.

These trials have shown us that a combination of drone and helicopter flights can help us achieve considerable efficiencies in how we inspect and maintain the National Grid, he said in a media statement.

The aircraft used for the survey was an Aerosonde fixed wing UAV, which has a wingspan of 3.5m and weighed 25kg. It travelled at 100kmh during flight. It could gather photos, video, infra red, Lidar (using radar and light) and near infra-red data.
It captures a multitude of information in a single pass instead of having to fly multiple passes, Plummer said.

​Using drones had less impact on land owners than helicopters and aircraft, he added, as they were less intrusive on people and animals.


Category:  UAV


Intel Launches Aerial Data Analytics Platform

2017-09-11
Intel Launches Aerial Data Analytics Platform
The newly announced Intel Insight Platform is a cloud-based data processing, analytics and reporting service that allows customers to store, share, and manage the rich data that commercial drone systems provide.

AUDS Counter-Drone System Enhanced for Vehicle Deployment and to Defeat Swarm Attacks

2017-09-11
AUDS Counter-Drone System Enhanced for Vehicle Deployment and to Defeat Swarm Attacks
The AUDS counter-UAS defence system has been enhanced for deployment on military and commercial security and surveillance vehicles and with new technology to more effectively defeat swarm attacks by malicious unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including long-range winged drones.

Disguised Drones Boost Wildlife Management

2017-09-04
Disguised Drones Boost Wildlife Management
Wildlife management is getting a little more scientific. Saxon Remote Systems, a manufacturer of unmanned aerial systems in McPherson, is flying into the market with technology to make current wildlife management methods easier and more precise.

New Russian Anti-Drone Gun on Display

2017-09-04
New Russian Anti-Drone Gun on Display
For the first time in Russia, Kalashnikov Concern – the largest arms manufacturer in the country showed off its electromagnetic anti-drone rifles at the Army-2017 expo in the Moscow Region.

Microsoft Tests Self-Flying Gliders in Rural Nevada

2017-08-22
Microsoft Tests Self-Flying Gliders in Rural Nevada
Microsoft is already thinking about self-flying airplanes. The tech giant tested such technology in Hawthorne, 130 miles south of Reno, last week with the help of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems.

RADA Gets $8M US Military Counter-UAS Contract

2017-08-22
RADA Gets $8M US Military Counter-UAS Contract
RADA Electronic Industries Ltd. has announced it had received a strategic first order for dozens of Multi-Mission Hemispheric Radars (MHR) from the US Military. Totalling over $8 million, this order will be delivered during 2017.

Peruvian Air Force Develops Two New Drones

2017-08-14
Peruvian Air Force Develops Two New Drones
The Peruvian Air Force’s (FAP, per its Spanish acronym) Project Research and Investigation Center (CIDEP, per its Spanish acronym) was created in 1993 to develop flight simulators for Cessna A-37 aircraft.

US Navy Wants Drones and AI to Repair Airfields Fast

2017-08-14
US Navy Wants Drones and AI to Repair Airfields Fast
The U.S. Navy is looking for a drone that can fly over a damaged airfield and come up with a plan to get planes back in the air quickly, the head of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command said Tuesday.

China to Use CH-T4 Solar Drone as Quasi-Satellite and Wi-Fi Hub

2017-07-28
China to Use CH-T4 Solar Drone as Quasi-Satellite and Wi-Fi Hub
China is developing an airborne mobile Wi-Fi hub in near space with solar-powered drones. The Feiyun (“Flying Cloud”) project is able to secure emergency communication for more than one week and proof of concept is expected to be demonstrated before the end of year.

Mobile Skylight  Mobile Drone Security and UTM

2017-07-28
Mobile Skylight Mobile Drone Security and UTM
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that Gryphon Sensors, a SRC Inc. company based in Central New York, has developed a state-of-the-art mobile Unmanned Traffic Management system called Mobile Skylight. The development builds on the state’s investments in the regions emerging Unmanned Aerial Systems industry.


Back to the list