Unmanned aircraft systems, better known as drones, are not a new technology. In fact, the first use of unmanned aircraft dates back to the mid-1800s and has thrived mainly in military applications since then. But commercial and personal drone use began to catch on in the early 2000s, and quantum leaps over the past several years in range, payload capacity and available sensors have caused an explosion of interest in the technology, particularly in the utility industry. Electric cooperatives, whose rugged territories and unique operational needs are ideally suited to the capabilities of drones, are leading the trend.
In the latest episode of Along Those Lines, hear from Stan McHann, NRECA’s senior research engineer and the association’s lead on utility drones, and Bill Hovanec, GIS lead at Sangre de Cristo Electric Association in Colorado, about how co-ops are pushing the limits of unmanned aircraft and where this promising technology is heading.
Listen to the episode below: