Drones & Dams

by | Sep 29, 2020

Drones & Dams

Anafi 1.5.6

They’re quiet, they capture crucial high-definition images and, most of all, they’re safer. Widely used in utility equipment inspections and wildfire mitigation efforts, drones have quickly become an essential tool for Southern California Edison (SCE) in its dam safety inspections, too.
With 83 dams in SCE’s hydroelectric system stretching from Catalina Island to Big Creek near Fresno, it’s easy to see why. In addition to safer and more cost-effective inspections, drones help SCE’s hydro team maintain the dams safely and effectively.        “The drones have been a powerful tool and I think we can do a lot more going forward,” said Nicolas von Gersdorff, SCE’s chief dam safety engineer.

Future use of the drones includes FAA approval to fly outside the line of sight — which the FAA doesn’t yet allow — as well as the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
As is, the Dam & Safety group’s two Parrot Anafi drones—operated by two FAA and SCE Air Operations-authorized pilots observing the utility’s strict confidentiality policies and procedures—have greatly enhanced inspections of remote, difficult-to-access dams, efficiently delivering high-resolution images that identify minor issues like leakages and cracks before they become major problems.

Images that Patrick Le, one of the drone operators and an SCE engineer, said are further enhanced through technologies like LiDAR and 3D mapping. “Drones are just an excellent tool with speed, safety and practicality,” said Le of the unmanned aerial vehicles used for dam inspections since 2016. “We get measurable data and a bird’s eye view.”

In the winter, that data can come through as thermal imaging of powerhouses’ penstock pipes. This speed and capability is important when SCE needs to manage near-record snow in the system. And Le and his group are intrigued by LiDAR analysis and Structure from Motion, saying, “We essentially stitch a series of photos together in a 3D model to get something you can’t get with a typical visual inspection. Sometimes you can capture things you can’t see with the naked eye.”
Even more crucial are the drones’ elimination of the safety risks involved in worker inspections that require specialized equipment and training to physically access steeply sloped areas of a structure.
And,  amid the COVID-19 pandemic SCE’s Meg Richardson pointed out another unexpected bonus. “Just looking at where we are with present times and COVID-19, inspections can be done via drone now instead of having people go out in groups,” said Richardson, an SCE senior advisor in Regulatory Affairs and Compliance. “I think it’s also a way to be innovative for what the future might look like.”

High-tech drones and cameras present opportunities galore for the Dam & Safety team to continue enhancing safety. “Technology like this sets forth that we can be better prepared because we are being innovative with the technology out there,” said Richardson. “We’re continuing to look at innovation on how to meet regulatory requirements as well as additional ways this technology can be used in what will be the new normal. It’s definitely a highlight.” BY PAUL NUTTER

Credit rotordronepro.com

Content retrieved from: https://www.rotordronepro.com/drones-dams.

Robot compare

Science Fiction or Science Fact?

Is there a difference between Science Fiction and Science Fact? Well in most cases there are, however as technology relentlessly moves forward the line between

Wireless In-Flight Drone Recharging Tech For Prime Air

Amazon Prime Air is a drone delivery service that Amazon has been touting for almost four years now. Amazon’s drone delivery service delivered its first package on December 7, 2016. Almost four years later, it’s still a “future delivery system.” What’s missing? Probably something like wireless in-flight drone recharging from the tiny Portland-based Global Energy […]

World’s biggest drone — a 28-ton autonomous behemoth

Alabama rocket startup Aevum just unveiled the world’s biggest drone — a 28-ton autonomous behemoth that may soon rocket US military satellites into orbit Jay Skylus, the CEO of autonomous launch startup Aevum, stands in front of a Ravn X rocket-launching drone. Aevum Aevum, a quiet, scrappy, and ambitious rocket-launch startup, unveiled the biggest drone […]

3d printed rocket Relativity

3D printed rockets – the future of space exploration

Full-duration test of Aeon 1 rocket engine. Relativity Space said Monday that the company has successfully completed a full-duration test-firing of its Aeon 1 rocket engine, running it at full power for 187 seconds. The test at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi took place with all of the engine’s key components—including turbopumps, injector, and […]

Drone Privacy Laws Around the World

As the use of drones expands around the world — according to the Federal Aviation Administration, there are currently 1.7 million drones registered in the United States alone — lawmakers have been faced with new and complex regulatory challenges to protect the privacy of ordinary citizens. The increased prevalence of drones has raised the prospect […]

Switching to Skydio and Increase Per-Pilot Revenue 37%

This blog is a teaser and summary of a longer-form written case study, available here at Skydio.com. One of the best parts of my job is talking to customers and listening to their stories about the way that Skydio 2 is changing the way they fly and in some cases, the way they fundamentally do […]

Fotokite – Tethered 24hr First Responder Drone

Fotokite already offers a clever response to two challenges for deploying drones: limited battery life and the need for a certified pilot. And now it’s tackling a third challenge with its new product: How to deploy a drone as quickly as possible in a first responder situation. Drones can be a tremendous asset to first […]

Skydio Autonomy™. A new age of drone intelligence

In last week’s blog, I shared with you some of the ways Skydio X2 was built to meet the needs of some of the drone industry’s most forward-thinking fleets. This week, I’d like to share some ideas about autonomy — what true autonomy is and why it matters, and how it will impact drone operations […]

DRONAMICS Announces World’s First Cargo Droneport Network

DRONAMICS, the world’s leading middle-mile cargo drone developer and operator, today unveiled the first 5 airports in its European network of cargo droneports. The DRONAMICS European Droneport Network is the world’s first cargo droneport network and includes private airports and airport groups operating more than 35 airports in 11 European countries, connecting 300 million […]

Non-Stop Flight from California to Sicily Completes NATO UAV Squadron

An RQ-4D Phoenix UAV from Northrop Grumman Corporation completed a 20-hour non-stop trans-Atlantic flight from California to Sicily, where it joined the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) squadron on Nov. 12 at Sigonella Air Base. The air vehicle is the last of five NATO RQ-4D aircraft, completing deliveries to the Main Operating Base (MOB) of […]

Request a NO OBLIGATION quote

The cost of a survey or inspection is simple to calculate, but is dependant on the mission and its location. Please provide details in order to complete an accurate quotation.  Get in touch we’ll be happy to provide a no obligation quotation

“Opportunities for the commercial application of drones is set to continue to grow…”

Digital Marketing Solutions

Have you looked at creating a promo for your business and found it too costly and complicated?

It’s time to impress your client base with affordable marketing solutions from Helix UAV. We can create a fully edited promotional film or you can have the raw footage (it’s yours).

To take your businesses potential to the next level lets show them what you’ve got.

3D imaging of objects and structures that can be interactively manipulated on your web page for your marketing purposes is now possible. You no longer need NASA you need Helix UAV.

Aerial Inspection

Aerial Surveying

Aerial Media

Aerial Imaging

Icon Logo for Helix UAV Drone Services 2

CORONAVIRUS

 

Government organisations or subsidiaries wishing to request assistance from Helix UAV during this extremely difficult time can send their requests via our dedicated email address:

 

coronavirus@helixuav.com

 

07480 041928

 

Please use the form below if you wish to subscribe to our news service. Please follow government guidelines and stay safe

 

HELIX UAV

 

 
 
 

You have sent your message