Drones set to conquer UK’s energy market as ‘landmark’ project takes off

Drones are poised to reinvent the manner in which members of the energy sector conduct inspections as a new UAV scheme takes to the skies. The large-scale project, Pathfinder, is working across electricity and gas networks and is coordinated by international innovation scout, the Energy Innovation Centre (EIC). The three-year programme is being led by Wales & West Utilities in collaboration with Cadent, National Grid Gas Transmission, Northern Gas Networks, Northern Powergrid, Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks and UK Power Networks. The designated government Pathfinder project, which is the first-of-its-kind in the UK, will work with the CAA to explore
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World’s first autonomous drone-in-a-box system deployed at power plant

The world’s first autonomous drone-in-a-box system has taken off to carry out round-the-clock operations at a power plant facility. Enel, an Italian multinational manufacturer and distributor of electricity and gas, has completed deployment of Percepto’s Sparrow drone system for use at its Torrevaldaliga Nord power plant in Italy. The multipurpose drone platform will support operation and maintenance activities at the site. The Sparrow will fly in automated mode under the supervision of an operator who can take control of the device at any moment as Italy’s regulatory framework does not currently allow fully-autonomous drone flight. The drone carries a permanent
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Next leads the way for retailers in recognising the power of the drone

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UK-based retail giant Next has become one of the latest national organisations to recognise the benefits of drone technology by adopting UAVs for facility inspections. Middlesborough-based drone specialists DJM Aerial Solutions reported that repeat client and chartered survey professionals CS2 contracted the company to carry out a commercial roof survey for Next’s UK distribution centre in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. The two buildings had a total combined surface area of approximately 365,000sqft, rendering it an ‘arduous task’ to allow for accurate inspection of each corrugated steel panel. DJM Aerial Solutions was able to plan out an automated route to allow for
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UAV coalition secures £60k framework to protect nature in Scotland

A bespoke UAV will take to the skies to monitor forestry in Scotland following a business merger. Forestry Commission Scotland has awarded a £60,000 contract to Air Cam Pro (ACP) and Molten 99, an aerial video and photography provider. The two organisations announced the merger earlier this year and with ACP moving into larger manufacturing facilities in Walkerburn last month with help from the Business Gateway Scottish Borders. The custom drone from the two organisations will be used to monitor stress levels in trees to help identify disease before it spreads. Scottish Business News Network reported that Andrew Gupwell, sales
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Airbus Aerial gazes beyond visual line of sight with new partnership

Airbus Aerial has been selected to provide unmanned aircraft systems expertise as part of a team of private-sector firms supporting the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program (IPP). The IPP is a three-year Department of Transportation (DOT) programme implemented through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), aimed at developing a regulatory framework for expanded drone operations nationwide. Ten teams were selected from more than 150 applicants across North America. Airbus Aerial is to support UAS IPP teams for Virginia and North Dakota. “Airbus Aerial’s participation in the Integration Pilot Program will expand our efforts in beyond visible line of sight drone
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Fortem Technologies sets to work to help shape the future of airspace

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Fortem Technologies, an airspace awareness and intelligence specialist, is flying the flag for safe drone integration with a partnership with one of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program (UAS IPP) selectees. The company has inked a partnership deal with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT), which was chosen to participate among an elite group of applicants selected by the FAA’s UAS IPP. “The UAS IPP will rapidly accelerate the advancement of BVLOS flight, enabling the commercialization of drone delivery, search and rescue, safety inspections, delivery of medical supplies, and so many other services that will
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FIVE MINUTES WITH: Martin Brandenburg, DJI’s EMEA managing director

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While the airspace has become increasingly crowded and more commercial providers enter the market, one company has managed to soar higher than most. DJI, a Chinese-founded commercial and consumer drone manufacturer, first opened its doors in 2006 and has gone on to shape the industry’s hardware, software and applications in filmmaking, construction, inspection, emergency response, agriculture, conservation and other industries. While the company is only 12 years old, recent research suggests that as much as 70% of the UK commercial market uses DJI drones. Martin Brandenburg, DJI’s EMEA managing director, gave Commercial Drone Professional a sneak peek behind the scenes
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EXCLUSIVE: From rails to the skies, integrating UAVs at TfL

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Transport for London has conquered the water, the rails and the roads and now it is preparing to conquer the skies. As the UK moves to better integrate drones into its urbanised areas, with projects such as Nesta’s Flying High Challenge promoting incorporating drones into developed cities, TfL is looking to enhance its service with the use of UAV capabilities in one of the largest and densely populated cities. The transport authority has been working with Nesta as London was one of the five selectees chosen to take part in the Flying High Challenge, which was launched in February. While
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VIDEO OF THE DAY: DJI champions Lincolnshire emergency drone deployment

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DJI is flying the flag for drones in emergency services by unveiling key insights into one of this year’s most high-profile drone rescue missions. The company is underlining the significance of drones in emergency operation by police by highlighting the role a UAV played in the discovery of a hypothermic man in Lincolnshire. Police officers initiated a search for a man who had left his car after it had overturned on the A16 near Ludborough in the early hours of Sunday (February 25) morning. Knowing that temperatures were near freezing, and that the man was potentially injured, officers decided to
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ParaZero leads the way in drone integration project

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It’s safety first as the manufacturer of a parachute UAVs snapped up a prominent role in several of the projects selected to take part in a drone integration programme in America. Last week the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the 10 state, local, and tribal governments selected to test complex UAV operations. The announcement came as part of the DOT’s UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP) mandated by President Trump this past October and designed to accelerate the integration of UAS into the national airspace system (NAS) through public-private partnerships. The ten teams were
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