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AeroLabs And BGE Test Autonomous Distribution Inspections

Matrice 210 Drone Inspected Energy Transmission Lines And Poles

AeroLab and Baltimore Gas and electric Company (BGE) recently completed a test using a DJI Matrice 210 to perform autonomous inspections of distribution assets in a rural area of northern Maryland.

Even with temperatures in the 20s and strong 15+ mph winds, the Matrice held its own and flew quite well on its programmed flight path, according to a company news release.

The test consisted of a 10-12 pole segment of a circuit that presented various hardware configurations, and tree encroachments that enabled us to showcase the aircraft’s ability to maneuver safely around the assets and avoid environmental hazards. When using the Zenmuse Z30, we were able to fly at a farther standoff distance making it safer for an inexperienced pilot to supervise the aircraft, yet still capturing all the crucial data. Being dually equipped with the FLIR sensor also allowed our inspection to be completed in just a single pass — when it’s traditionally a separate process.

Some defects on tops of cross arms that were not visible from the ground were identified, which proves the drones deliver more thorough inspections.

In order for drones to be integrated at a larger scale, autonomous flight is simply a must. When compared to a manual flight, the autonomous inspection is consistently faster and more efficient.

(Image provided with AeroLabs news release)

FMI: www.exelonaerolabs.com

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