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New England Utility Flying High Over Drone Test
New England’s largest power provider may soon join the growing number of power utilities using drones to keep watch over their power lines.
Earlier this month, Eversource took part in a UAV demonstration along with New Hampshire-based drone operator Franz Loew of JBI Helicopter Services.
Onlookers watched as Loew launched a $2,000 DJI s1000 over several miles of Eversource power lines and sent several minutes of imagery to the utility’s engineering staff.
“With the UAV, we can actually get up close and find any infrastructure that might be a lot smaller,” transmission operations manager Carol Burke told Valley News. “An insulator that’s broken, hardware that’s rusting, smaller items that would need to be replaced.”
Eversource serves 3.6 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire which means tens of thousands of line miles, often over mountainous, rough terrain.
JBI already provides helicopter line inspection for Eversource but Loew says drones add a new dimension to his services.
“We are able to get into environments like a helicopter may not be able to get into,” Loew told TV station WMUR, following the 15-minute flight. He believes current aerial solutions haven’t “even scratched the surface for the kinds of things we can use these UAVs for. It’s an exciting time for everybody.”
Eversource joins a growing number of utilities worldwide that are testing or buying drones to inspect power lines and substations. In California, Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced plans in May to test inspection drones to “monitor electric infrastructure in hard-to-reach areas and … detect methane leaks across its 70,000-square-mile service area.”
“PG&E is working with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the University of California, Merced’s Mechatronics Embedded Systems and Automation Lab (MESA Lab), and Pipeline Research Council International to conduct testing of NASA’s Open Path Laser Spectrometer sensor on a drone,” writes DroneLife contributor James Richardson.
This past week, Sterlite Power — one of India’s largest utilities – announced a partnership with American company Sharper Shape to deploy the company’s automated, drone-based inspection packages for power-line inspection.
Contry: Great Britain
2016-12-01Last week a delegation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle experts from the United Kingdom met with industry leaders in California to highlight the United Kingdom’s regulatory leadership. The United Kingdom has sophisticated regulations governing the use of Unman
Last week a delegation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle experts from the United Kingdom met with industry leaders in California to highlight the United Kingdom’s regulatory leadership.
2016-10-19Industry Presents UAV Upgrades to UK Royal Navy
As the Royal Navy moves towards retiring its only unmanned air vehicle from service in 2017, industry has presented a number of upgrades to UK-operated systems to try and tempt the service into continuing operations with such technology.
2016-10-12RAF Wants British Weapons for Protector Fleet
The UK Royal Air Force remains confident that it will introduce British-made weapons onto its future Protector unmanned air vehicle, although a final decision on this element of the programme has yet to be made.
2016-08-28Student Designs Communications Drone for Disaster Relief
A college student at Staffordshire University in the UK has designed a disaster relief drone that will set up an emergency communications network.
2016-08-18Live Maps for Unmanned Air Systems in UK
Createc has been funded by the UK Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) to work on a software solution that can be easily incorporated into existing unmanned air systems (UAS) using only on-board passive sensors and a previous map.
2016-08-08British Firms Launch New Inspection Drone Solutions
One of the UK’s leading industrial training companies is joining forces with a key player in the growing construction/inspection drone industry.
2016-07-05Thales Gets UK £80M Watchkeeper Support Contract
The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded Thales a £80 million contract to deliver Support to the British Army’s combat proven Watchkeeper Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).
2016-07-03UK to Consider Training Reaper Pilots
As the number of slots available to foreign allies at the US Air Force’s unmanned air vehicle training school continues to be limited, the UK is considering establishing its own domestic capability, ahead of a planned acquisition of a new fleet of remotely piloted aircraft.
2016-06-26British Police Ramp Up Drone Purchases
British police agencies are keeping the “Game of Drones” alive and well as more departments deploy UAVs to fight crime and search for missing persons.
2016-06-21Leading UK Energy Firm Signs Up for UAS Inspections
Cyberhawk Innovations has secured significant works with FTSE 100 listed SSE Plc, one of the UK’s largest energy companies. The campaign, which began in May this year, will see Cyberhawk carry out close visual inspections of more than 600 blades using UAVs. Work will be completed across wind turbines at various SSE windfarms throughout Scotland, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.
13 Takeaways from The White House Workshop
13 Takeaways from The White House Workshop
2012-04-05 Hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Flies ScanEagle