Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
National Grid Electricity System Operator
National Grid TO Innovation Team
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Innovation Funding Incentive
Health and Safety
Pilot-less surveillance drones would certainly reduce the risk of
pilot fatality and environmental impact of aerial surveillance
and should also reduce the cost. The questions are whether
they would be permitted to fly by air traffic control; and whether
they can provide effective surveillance.
The project aims to realise the following objectives:
- To investigate whether a UAV is capable of carrying out the
same tasks as a manned helicopter for observing and
inspecting overhead lines.
- The drivers behind this project are to:
Reduce costs for asset inspection by reducing the £/flight hour.
Increase safety of inspection activities through reducing the
amount of time pilots need to be in the air.
Increase the number of assets accessible to aerial surveillance
and increasing the number of available flight days through the
ability to fly lower light conditions and poor weather. Increase
mobility through the ability to transport the UAV close to the
- If phase one gives positive results further work will investigate
the testing/trialling and implementation of the UAV's and
analyse of data showing how they could be useful to National Grid.
- The final objective of this project would be to have a UAV
completely autonomous using GPS to track lines/pipes
recording data which is downloaded and analysed. With the
ability of a manual override so the operator can investigate
faults and potential faults further.