The use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, in the electric utility industry is set to take off. There are many potential benefits of UAS in utility operations, such as maintenance and inspections, accompanied by time and worker safety benefits.
Many utilities industries are experiencing significant growth, yet current inspection and maintenance methods are costly, time-consuming and even dangerous.
There is a better way: Drones.
Protecting our natural resources and wildlife habitats is mission number one for millions of scientists and concerned citizens across the globe. And technology that has been making news for innovative deliveries is making a dramatic impact in how nature conservation efforts are carried out and measured.
In countries with poor infrastructure and few delivery options, drone technology can be a literal lifesaver in times of crisis. Many humanitarian organizations have experimented with Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to find survivors in disaster zones, deliver medical supplies and carry out other humanitarian tasks.
Business is booming for drones and the economic potential of wider use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) is enormous. UAS for military applications have been around for decades, but recreational and commercial uses are new territory. With drones in the hands of novices, there’s been plenty of controversy around them.
Commercial businesses using drones, also called unmanned aircraft systems or UAS, is skyrocketing. And new developments are making adoption easier and less expensive for a number of companies that might have otherwise bypassed this attention-grabbing technology.
This March, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA's) first approved autonomous commercial drone delivery to an urban residence took place in Nevada. The successful test was a sign of things to come, highlighting the exciting opportunities that unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) can present.
It was inconceivable just a few years ago, but today drones are coveted by hobbyists and businesses alike—steadily flying off the shelves and into people’s homes and offices. They are being used more and more for commercial purposes as thousands are entering our skies. This industry growth has inevitably resulted in growing safety concerns.
The commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry has seen a rise in activity within the past year, with commercial drone registrations growing from around 500 in 2015 to more than 5,000 in 2016. While this spike is great for the industry, it’s highlighting the need for safe flight regulations to ensure that UASs and manned aircraft can coexist in shared airspace.
With GoPro developing a drone and universities offering degrees in unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), the technology is making the move from military to mainstream applications. Already a multi-billion dollar global defense industry, the civilian drone market is expected to grow 19 percent annually from 2015 to 2020, driven primarily by commercial industries.