- LAST NEWS: Drones Listen in on Bats to Reveal their In-Flight Secrets
- LAST NEWS: Lockheed Martin Continues Successful Fury Flight Tests
- LAST NEWS: Virginia Tech Aviation Partnership Test BVLOS Flights
- LAST NEWS: Air-to-Ground UAV Teaming – Singapore Style
- LAST NEWS: Second Generation Hydrogen Fuel Cell Drone
- LAST NEWS: US Army Releases Counter-Drone Manual
- LAST NEWS: US Army Purchases Dronebuster C-UAS System
- LAST NEWS: Controlling Drones via LTE Network
- LAST NEWS: Hydrogen Drone, HyDrone 1550, Successfully Tested at High Altitudes
- LAST NEWS: Verizon Tests New Drone-Based 4G LTE Service
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 doesn’t require someone to physically be there to navigate.”
The February 24 flight was made possible by the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority’s 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.
“It’s 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. Transpower’s 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.
2017-04-28Drones Listen in on Bats to Reveal their In-Flight Secrets
Bat-detecting drones could help us find out what the animals get up to when flying. Ultrasonic detectors on drones in the air and on the water are listening in on bat calls, in the hope of discovering more about the mammals’ lives beyond the reach of ground-based monitoring devices.
2017-04-27Virginia Tech Aviation Partnership Test BVLOS Flights
Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, Ligado Networks, AeroVironment, Inc., and Dominion Virginia Power evaluated communications strategies and other parameters to help build a safety case for unmanned aircraft flights beyond the visual line of sight of a pilot or observer.
2017-04-27Lockheed Martin Continues Successful Fury Flight Tests
Lockheed Martin‘s advanced tactical Group 3 unmanned aerial system (UAS), Fury, is regularly flying long-range endurance test missions as the company prepares it for low-rate production.
2017-04-26Air-to-Ground UAV Teaming – Singapore Style
Operating as a team, an autonomous vehicle with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flying overhead as surveillance could go deep into complex and unfamiliar terrains such as dense forests to deliver supplies to the battlefield.
2017-04-25Second Generation Hydrogen Fuel Cell Drone
This year at FAMEX, Chinese manufacturer MMC introduces its new technology of hydrogen UAS HyDrone 1800 with upgraded specifications to meet higher standards in professional applications. The Feria Aeroespacial México 2017 (FAMEX 2017) kicks off at Mexico City on 26 April.
2017-04-24US Army Releases Counter-Drone Manual
Having developed and utilized unmanned aerial systems (UAS, or drones) for surveillance, targeting and attack, the US military now finds itself in the position of having to defend against the same technology.
2017-04-20US Army Purchases Dronebuster C-UAS System
Radio Hill has just finalized a contract initiated by the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF) to purchase a large lot of block 3 Dronebusters. This hand-held drone detection and jamming systems for use in the battle against ISIL.
2017-04-19Controlling Drones via LTE Network
KDDI and Terra Drone have announced the completion of inventing “4G LTE control system”, the system allows operators to control drones via LTE network. This system also helps drone businesses by managing the information on each drone and operator and providing detailed flight logs of each flight.
2017-04-18Hydrogen Drone, HyDrone 1550, Successfully Tested at High Altitudes
Search and rescue is a valued application for drones, but mountain rescues at high altitude have been difficult due to the technology barriers created by the use of lithium batteries. Commercial drone manufacturer MMC addresses that issue with the hydrogen-powered HyDrone 1550.
2017-04-17New Software Simplifies Oil and Gas Inspections
Industrial Skyworks has announced the official launch of Blue VU advanced software for the accurate and efficient inspection of buildings, and oil and gas infrastructure. Industrial Skyworks’ new Blue VU software will relieve inspectors, engineers and technicians from sifting through thousands of images while providing safe visual access to hard to reach locations, such as the roofs of buildings, flare stacks, and storage tanks.
Swarms of Drones Test New Dogfighting Skills
Swarms of Drones Test New Dogfighting Skills
2012-04-05 Hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Flies ScanEagle