This article is the introduction of the Market Update for Commercial UAV News, authored by Jose Antunes.
From wind turbine inspection to long-range deliveries, UAVs are becoming more and more present in the daily life of utility professionals. They’re flying beyond visual line-of-sight to help maintain power lines, and even inside towering boilers. No wonder that the idea of skyways for drones, along with a recharging infrastructure that can serve thousands, or millions of drones, are beginning to take shape across the world.
Commercial UAV News recently published a couple articles that focus on this topic, as the team at Talon Aerolytics detailed why it’s a mistake to wait to start flying a drone, while Todd Chase explained how oil and gas companies are looking to using UAVs. In light of Part 107, developments in this market will continue to gain traction and notoriety as professionals see and understand the many ways in which UAVs allow them to adjust their approach.
The news items below represent just some of the most notable developments for UAVs in Process, Power & Utilities over the past few months.
Pacific Gas & Electric company sees drone technology as an opportunity with safety and reliability benefits, so it has begun testing how it can use drones to help monitor and survey its gas and electric infrastructure. Currently, PG&E is in the research and development phase of drone use for its nearly 160,000 miles of electric lines in Northern and Central California.
“Drones have incredible potential for improving the safety and reliability of our systems” says Eric Back, PG&E director of compliance and risk management, adding that “we want to roll out this program methodically and in alignment with the industry and are partnering with a number of industry organizations to help design requirements to ensure the safe operations of drones. These partnerships provide a valuable resource for identifying safe applications of this promising technology.”
In the future, drones also could play a key role in PG&E’s efforts to detect and stop gas leaks. PG&E routinely patrols and surveys nearly 50,000 miles of gas pipelines for leaks using a variety of methods and technologies. Read the whole article to discover how Pacific Gas & Electric is working with NASA on some of these projects and why the company envisions drones playing a key role in storm and disaster response.
For the rest of the article: http://goo.gl/Pi2mM9
Filed Under: O&M