Inside Unmanned Systems

OCT-NOV 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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10 unmanned systems inside   October/November 2016 AIR RAIL INSPECTION F or hundreds of years, the world's rail industry has efficiently transported goods and people from point to point. Safety is a top priority for the companies that manage these rail lines, which means ensur- ing tracks and bridges are well maintained— a task unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are well suited to support. Rail companies like BNSF and Union Pacific are among those researching what unmanned aircraft can do for their industry. From in- specting bridges and monitoring rail yards to providing a bird's eye view during disaster situations many see UAS technology as a po- tentially important tool for reducing risks and improving the bottom line system wide. "It allows us to strengthen our safety pro- gram," said Michael Trevino, BNSF assistant vice president for external communications. "We have 32,000 miles of track in the west- ern part of the U.S. We're responsible for that track. It's our job to ensure it's safe to run trains on that track. Today we have the ability to f ly UAS within line of sight to capture im- ages of the track and bring those images back by Renee Knight Photo courtesy of Xxxxxx HOW UAS CAN BENEFIT THE RAIL INDUSTRY. FLYING RAILS FOR MORE about the train derailment Jarlath O-Neil-Dunne, director of the University of Vermont's Spatial Analysis Lab, and his team documented, check out "Sensefly's eBee aids in train derailment investigation" at the Photos courtesy of University of Vermont The team at the University of Vermont's Spatial Analysis Lab deployed senseFly's albris for train bridge inspections and created 3-D models. "ONCE THE TRADITIONAL low-hanging- fruit missions are covered the ongoing opportunity is truly limitless—and that's where things will get really interesting as the rail industry comes up with creative applications." Aaron Lessig, CEO, Pulse Aerospace

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