Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG-SEP 2016

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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Page 14 of 59

15 unmanned systems inside August/September 2016 ugust/Septe August/September 2016 August/September 2016 be August/September 2016 0 August/September 2016 6 August/September 2016 ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. is the ability to f ly around an existing struc- ture above 400 feet if it stays within a 400- foot bubble around the structure. This enables them to f ly around structures they wouldn't have been able to inspect in the past without a special permit, Eisenrauch said. "One of the surprising provisions the FAA put in the rule was actually targeted at people doing vertical infrastructure inspections, so cell towers and other tall buildings," said Ian Smith, an account executive for DroneDeploy and an FA A commercial helicopter pilot. "If you have a structure that's 700 feet tall, you can operate up to 400 feet above the top of it, so 1,100 feet total above ground, as long as you stay within 400 feet of the building." The new regulations also allow operations from a moving vehicle as long as the same per- son isn't in control of both the drone and the moving vehicle—which is huge for the agricul- ture industry, Smith said. This enables farmers to f ly hundreds of acres without the UAS going beyond visual line of sight. The Case for Beyond Visual Line of Sight Because Dominion Virginia Power already has a section 333 exemption, Eisenrauch said Part 107 doesn't really open up new applications for the company. The rule does get them one step closer to f lying beyond visual line of sight, however, which would be a game changer for utilities and a variety of other industries. Power lines can be located in swamps, moun- tains or other areas that are difficult to reach, and the ability to fly UAS over extended distanc- es would eliminate the need for crews to travel from structure to structure during inspection— "THE NEW RULE WILL OPEN UP OPPORTUNITIES in areas such as roof inspections, infrastructure inspections and real estate, allowing for business growth." Rose Mooney, executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership at Virginia Tech Continued on page 18

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