Southern Company, MSU’s joint research on drones moves forward
Utility provider Southern Company says it has reached a new milestone on a joint research project with Mississippi State University (MSU). The duo is finding ways for the energy provider to safely expand the use of drones to map critical infrastructure, assess weather-related damage, and conduct routine utility inspections.
At a recent proof-of-concept demonstration, members from the Southern Company’s Aerial Services and Mississippi State University’s Raspet Flight Research Lab flew a large drone with integrated sensors along 28 miles of transmission assets, capturing data from approximately 400 structures. A helicopter with a high-resolution camera was also flown with the intent of evaluating the sensor technology, so that it may be transferred to a drone in the future.
As the next step, the team would look to determine onboard sensor systems that can help drones to detect and avoid other aircraft in their surrounding airspace. Researchers are also…