Portland, Ore.-based Aerial Inspection Resources (AIR) recently conducted a series of unmanned aircraft system (UAS) flights at Oregon’s Warm Springs UAS Test Range to evaluate the suitability of the Warm Springs Simnasho De-Energized High-Voltage Line site for further research and development.
AIR, which focuses on industrial inspections, has been operating UAS commercially in the U.S. for over a year, says SOAR Oregon, a nonprofit organization focused on the development of the UAS industry in Oregon.
The group says the Simnasho site offers more than 20 miles of de-energized transmission lines. The Warm Springs UAS Test Range is part of the Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range Complex, one of the six Federal Aviation Administration-designated UAS test sites.
For these test flights, AIR operated a DJI S900 drone with a 32-megapixel Sony camera. The company was able to drive the equipment van directly to the launch and recovery site and performed a series of inspections of the de-energized transmission towers. For marketing purposes, AIR also took advantage of the scenic surroundings by capturing video and photographs of their platform in action.
“For a company such as ours, having access to the Warm Springs Test Range’s de-energized steel lattice transmission towers is a fantastic opportunity,” notes Chris McMurtry, president of AIR. “It enables us to continually improve our inspection technique and service offerings. We look forward to returning to Simnasho in the next few weeks to begin field tests of some products we’ve designed specifically for the power line inspection market.”