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A Fleet of Drones May Check Your Power Lines During Storm Jonas

A Fleet of Drones May Check Your Power Lines During Storm Jonas
technology

Jonas, meet your tiny whirring match

by Rob Kleiman
  • 22 january 2016

With six states declaring a State of Emergency ahead of snowstorm ‘Jonas,’ and with utility companies in both Virginia and North Carolina expecting a mix of snow and ice to potentially cause millions of customers to lose power, many energy companies in the region are calling on all available options to restore power and prevent damage. HAZON Solutions is a company headquartered in Southeast Virginia, which is prepared to fly its fleet of UAV’s (drones) to support a number of households and utility providers.

“Restoring power as quickly as possible is critical. This is another great example of how UAVs are being used in very positive manner,” says the company CEO.

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This weekend the outfit will be put to the test as it prepares for this mission.

In times of crisis this drone company can execute drone flights to check bridges, power lines and other vital infrastructure. It is a veteran-owned-and-operated drone flight services company that is known for conducting precision inspections for Fortune 1000 companies in the energy, transportation and telecommunications sectors. It helps Fortune 1000 companies use of small UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle aka “Drones”) to conduct precision inspections of our nation’s critical infrastructure. HAZON uses drones to conduct inspection operations, development, training, safety, and testing programs.

But as the snow begins to stick and accumulate in parts of the mid-Atlantic region and the Carolinas, customers like Virginia Dominion Power need to focus on restoring power services as quickly as possible. HAZON expects to be used to deploy to numerous locations to take videos and still photos of the transmission lines to help Dominion Power make informed decisions about how to manage restoration efforts and how to best deploy their crews.

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“We are ready,” says, David Culler, CEO, HAZON.

“Assisting our energy customers during highly demanding times like this is an added benefit we are proud to provide. Normally we find it rewarding to inspect transmission lines to help ensure system reliability, but helping companies like Dominion [Power] to restore power to our Commonwealth, our cities and our neighbors after storms like ‘Jonas’; that is the mission we live to be involved in. The drive to succeed is in our DNA. Over the next couple of days, success will be measured by how safely and efficiently we can employ our fleet of UAV’s to help Dominion to make informed decisions.”

Here are specific ways drones can help in these type of situations.

  • Quickly evaluate roughly 3-5 miles of transmission and power line status. Is there a line down? Is it heavily laden with ice? How much has accumulated on that line? Has a tree or other debris damaged the conductors (line)?
  • It can record video of potentially damaged areas to help decide what, if any, vehicles can access the damage.
  • It can record video regarding the condition of the towers. Like the lines, they can receive damage from elements like wind.

HAZON’s drones are used in many technologically advanced environments, often unsafe for humans. The company’s core business is in naval carrier aviation, nuclear plant operations, and intelligence systems. Although not the first time HAZON has been asked to be a part of post-storm recovery efforts, this is the first time that they have had to prepare to assist multiple clients needs.

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HAZON Solutions

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