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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41 unmanned systems inside ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. August/September 2018 DJI Inspire performing line inspections on a Dominion Energy transmission line in Henrico County, VA. AeroVironment Puma being hand launched to conduct BVLOS inspections on a Dominion Energy 230kV transmission line in Buckingham County, VA. BOTTOM LEFT: Thomas Jones, a program manager with the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, launches a lightweight drone during tests with IPP partner State Farm; the insurance giant is exploring how drones might speed up claim response times after natural disasters. DOMINION ENERGY'S EXTENDED LINE OF SIGHT FLIGHTS Dominion Energy successfully completed extended line of sight flights with Virginia Tech's MAAP last year, deploying both fixed wing and multi- rotor drones, said Steve Eisenrauch, Dominion Energy's manager of electric transmission forestry and line services. They were able to complete take-offs and landings in right-of-ways as well as turn in a right-of-way while staying in the shielded are of the transmission line where it's too dangerous for other aircraft to fly. The video obtained from the UAS during these flights is comparable to if not better than what is typically captured from a helicopter. The angle of the camera and how it's mounted on the UAS can make collecting this data challenging, but the biggest problem is communications in rural areas, Eisenrauch said. If there isn't good cell service, it becomes difficult from a command and control and sensor feedback perspective. They did test satellite communications during one of the missions, and Eisenrauch described the transition from terrestrial communication to satellite as flawless. UAV-America's Eagle drone waiting to launch to do BVLOS inspections on a Dominion Energy transmission line in Buckingham County, VA. IPP partner Wing uses a UAS with 12 rotors for vertical lift and two forward-facing propellers that enable it to fly longer distances.

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