A New Mexico State University research team has performed successful unmanned aircraft system (UAS) flights for the Electric Power Research Institute’s Airborne Damage Assessment Model.
The Electric Power Research Institute and New Mexico State University’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems team have partnered to demonstrate the usefulness and effectiveness of the use of UASs in assessing power grid damage following a storm or natural disaster. These specific flights showed that small UASs—weighing less than 55 pounds—are a faster, safer and more cost-effective way to collect aerial imagery for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and power companies across the United States, allowing them to more quickly assess damage from natural disasters or storms.
The Aeryon Labs Scout and the Adaptive Flight Hornet Maxi UASs were flown during the demonstration, and each successfully completed the proof-of-concept flights. The Aeryon Scout accurately captured real-time, detailed high-resolution still images, video and data of various electrical system components, while the Maxi showed its power grid capture capabilities during its flight.
“The use of Scout removes the human element from potentially dangerous or hazardous environments and situations, while allowing inspection staff to gather detailed, real-time imagery of high power electrical lines at a safe distance and a fraction of the cost compared with manned aircrafts or manual inspections,” said Dave Kroetsch, president of Aeryon Labs.
Image courtesy of Aeryon Labs Inc.