Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG-SEP 2018

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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22 unmanned systems inside August/September 2018 AIR IPP ALASKA A laska is one of the most challenging environments for drone operators. It has five different climate zones, gaps in GPS coverage and stretches of poor communications across much of what is the least densely populated state in the country. Cathy Cahill believes, however, that those challenges are a good part of the reason the University of Alaska- Fairbanks (UAF) was tapped by the Department of Transportation to be one of the 10 teams in their innovative Integration Pilot Program (IPP). Cahill is the director of UA F 's Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI) and Alaska's point person for the IPP. Her team will be doing testing to develop the safety case for 24/7 monitoring of long line linear critical infrastruc- ture—specifically oil and gas pipelines. "Our goa l," Ca hill sa id, "is to prove to the FA A (Federal Aviation Administration) that we know that it Photos courtesy of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and UAF-ACUASI. can be done safely and to allow them to formulate regulations to allow this technology to move forward." Those regulations will open the doors to beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) f lights, a difficult but essential step to performing missions like drone de- livery, precision agricultural services, emergency support, asset tracking, di- saster recovery and inspections of other types of critical infrastructure. TRANS-ALASKA PIPELINE ACUASI has already done an extend- ed visual line of sight f light along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) and, as of press time, had plans to do its first true BVLOS f light along TAPS in August. The demonstration will likely in- volve f ly ing approximateley seven miles from a control station and then back again, said Jacques Cloutier, an expert on drones for the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, which op- erates TAPS. by Dee Ann Divis The Alaska IPP team is focused on developing the technology and the safety case for beyond-visual-line-of-sight fl ights but they'd also like to build on that to eventually complete deliveries and help keep Alaskans safer by taking some of the risk out of operating in the state's most remote areas. REACHING FOR THE Horizon P P IP Integration Pilot Program Team Follow-Ups 800 Miles On the pipeline portion there is an 800 mile corridor and a 60 mile corridor that we are going to be working on where we're fl ying, collecting data, analyzing that data. And so that's part of beyond visual line of sight." Dyan Gibbens, CEO, Trumbull Unmanned The length of the Trans- Alaska Pipeline System "

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