Inside Unmanned Systems

FEB-MAR 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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AIR NEW APPLICATIONS 50   February/March 2018 unmanned systems inside Nuclear facilities are beginning to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for a variety of tasks, including infrastructure inspections, leak detection and site mapping. by Renee Knight Photo courtesy of American Electric Power. Cyberhawk Innovations recently inspected two PWR containment domes at American Electric Power's Cook Nuclear Plant. W hen an engineer first suggested using a drone to inspect two concrete pressur- ized water reactor (PWR) containment domes at American Electric Power's Cook Nuclear Plant, David Aubrey, who oversees these inspec- tions, was hesitant to trust such a new technology with such a critical task. The engineering program manager didn't know much about unmanned air- craft systems (UAS) at the time, except for what he'd seen in the news. But after doing more research and learning about the cost savings and safety improve- ments these systems were bringing to other indus- trial areas, he changed his mind. The team spent about a year planning the in- spection, and chose the U.K.-based Cyberhawk Innovations as their vendor. Cyberhawk pilots completed an inspection process that usually takes weeks in a matter of days, reducing risk to person- nel and saving the facility a significant amount of money. These f lights also marked the first time a drone performed an inspection to American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) code, Section XI Code to be exact, at a U.S. nuclear facility—a huge step forward for UAS in this industry. To meet code standards, the drone had to verify 100 percent coverage of the domes and satisfy spe- cific visual requirements, Aubrey said. With a few modifications, Cyberhawk was able to achieve that, Nuclear Industry PUTTING TRUST IN UAS

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