Utilities

University-Utility Partnership Goes Big on Drones

Posted by Betsy Lillian on December 19, 2016

Kansas State University’s Polytechnic Campus and Kansas-based power company Westar Energy say they are increasingly using drone technology to advance electric utility inspection and maintenance methods. With a focus on increasing reliability for customers, improving employee safety and reducing costs, [Read More]

Drones in Energy: Firm Improves Safety, Efficiency and Bottom Line

Posted by Betsy Lillian on December 12, 2016

By using Identified Technologies’ drone services, Keystone was able to survey six well pads in a single day and receive the data in near real time.

N.D. Drone Company OK’d for Night Flying; Utility Signs Up Right Away

Posted by Betsy Lillian on November 16, 2016

Grand Forks, N.D.-based SkySkopes has inked permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) at night. The flight services firm completed its first set of nighttime operations on Nov. 10 in cooperation with Minneapolis-based Xcel [Read More]

Wanted: U.S. Energy Company Seeks Unmanned Solutions

Posted by Betsy Lillian on November 07, 2016

The AES Corp. is launching an open innovation contest targeted at improving the safety and increasing the availability of power plants through unmanned inspections in extreme heat. AES, a Fortune 200 global power company, provides energy to 17 countries through [Read More]

Nevada Utility Completes UAS Pilot Program

Posted by Joseph Bebon on November 02, 2016

With the help of several partners, Nevada-based NV Energy has completed an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) pilot program to inspect, collect and analyze data on sections of the utility’s transmission and distribution lines. NV Energy says all of the flights [Read More]

Verizon Goes with Drones for Critical Inspections After Hurricane Matthew

Posted by Betsy Lillian on October 17, 2016

Verizon is using drones to help with cell site inspections in North Carolina and South Carolina to survey areas impacted by severe flooding from Hurricane Matthew. Washington, D.C.-based Measure is using a quadcopter to inspect cell sites in difficult-to-reach locations, [Read More]

AT&T Uses UAS to Get You Ready – and Connected – for Some Football

Written by Betsy Lillian on October 06, 2016

Using its proprietary EchoBOT technology on board an unmanned aircraft system, the telecommunications giant says it can “track in-stadium networks” more efficiently.

General Electric Has a New Drone in the Works: the Raven

Posted by Betsy Lillian on October 05, 2016

GE has unveiled a prototype drone designed to help reduce environmental impact and improve operational efficiency in the oil and gas industry.

Texas Utility Brings in UAVs, Image-Pattern Software for Inspections

Posted by Betsy Lillian on October 05, 2016

Austin Energy – a publicly owned electric utility and a department of the City of Austin, Texas – is using drones in a research project to test image-pattern recognition software to detect worn and damaged equipment. The unmanned aerial vehicles [Read More]

Hawaii Utilities Say Aloha to Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Posted by Betsy Lillian on October 03, 2016

The Hawaiian Electric Cos. have begun to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for a variety of inspections, including for storm response. The Hawaiian Electric Cos. – Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light – provide electricity for 95% of [Read More]

Artificial Intelligence-Powered Drone Could Bring Autonomy to ‘Next Level’

Posted by Betsy Lillian on September 29, 2016

An automated inspection by an intelligent drone with deep-learning capabilities was demonstrated today by Aerialtronics, a Dutch unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) manufacturer; Neurala, a creator of deep-learning software; and NVIDIA, a creator of GPU-accelerated computing. Taking place at the GPU [Read More]

Sacramento Municipal Utility District Goes With UAVs

Posted by Betsy Lillian on September 28, 2016

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) in California is partnering with PrecisionHawk to acquire aerial imagery for routine maintenance in monitoring and analyzing electric overhead transmission facilities and vegetation along rights-of-way in Sacramento and El Dorado counties. At yesterday’s demonstration, [Read More]

Lufthansa Forms UAS Partnership with Wind Power Company

Posted by Betsy Lillian on September 23, 2016

The Nordex Group, a German wind turbine manufacturer, has formed a partnership with Lufthansa Aerial Services (LAS) for unmanned aircraft system (UAS)-supported inspections of wind turbines. According to Nordex, an important part of the technology is being able to conduct [Read More]

SkySpecs Holding Drone Inspection Demo at Wind Energy Event

Posted by Betsy Lillian on September 06, 2016

Want to see drones in action for wind turbine inspections? SkySpecs will be demonstrating its automated drone technology at the upcoming Wind Energy Expo/WindEurope Summit in Hamburg, Germany. Taking place on Sept. 28 at 2 p.m., the invitation-only demo will [Read More]

Kentucky UAS Services Company Cleared for Night Flying

Posted by Betsy Lillian on September 02, 2016

Lexington, Ky.-based Unmanned Services Inc. (USI) has inked a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration for nighttime drone flights. By being able to operate at night, USI says it can provide enhanced services to clients and communities: e.g., infrared search-and-rescue [Read More]

3DR Drones Being Brought in for Queensland’s Storm Season

Posted by Betsy Lillian on August 30, 2016

Australian telecommunications company Telstra will be using drones to help restore mobile services in disaster-hit communities in northern Queensland this coming storm season. Telstra’s CEO, Andrew Penn, and group managing director of networks, Mike Wright, witnessed the drones’ capabilities in [Read More]

Ann Arbor Drone Company Inks Federal Grant for Turbine Inspection Research

Posted by Betsy Lillian on August 24, 2016

SkySpecs, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based provider of autonomous drones for the inspection of wind turbines, has received a small-business voucher (SBV) from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) office of energy efficiency and renewable energy, according to an announcement from [Read More]

N.H. Utility Employs UAV for Infrastructure Inspection

Posted by Betsy Lillian on August 19, 2016

Power provider Eversource has completed upgrades to electric lines in Nashua, N.H., after using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to identify the infrastructure in need of repairs. “Over 500,000 customers in New Hampshire depend on us for reliable electric service [Read More]

Sky-Futures Presenting Webinar on Confined-Space UAV Inspections

Posted by Betsy Lillian on August 16, 2016

Sky-Futures, a provider of drone-based data collection and analysis services for the oil and gas industry, is holding a webinar on confined-space inspections using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Held Aug. 24. at 9:00 a.m. UCT or 4:00 p.m. UCT, the [Read More]

Sharper Shape Bringing Drones to Utility Asset Inspections in India

Posted by Betsy Lillian on August 10, 2016

Sharper Shape – a Finland- and California-based provider of automated, drone-based asset inspections – and Indian transmission company Sterlite Power have announced a strategic partnership to provide drone inspection services for utility assets in India. As part of the cooperation, [Read More]