Blue Bear and Western Power Distribution carried out their second live flight trials under Project AIRSTART.
The recent live trials with Blue Bear and Western Power Distribution used a specially modified hexacopter Small Unmanned Air System (SUAS) to test the performance of a range of different onboard sensors, and to validate system behaviour within the electromagnetic field of the energised power lines. In addition to high resolution visual and thermal cameras, the onboard sensors also provided a relative navigation and collision avoidance capability to enable safe operation in the presence of vegetation and other obstructions. These tests helped to both validate the inspection system design and functionality that will be used to enable BVLOS operations. Further field trials are planned this winter.