Testing of novel prototype solution for autonomous drones
With Statnett as a client and forward-leaning infrastructure operator, SINTEF has teamed up with Norwegian drone technology and service providers KVS Technologies (now: Field Group), and Nordic Unmanned to develop and test a novel prototype solution for autonomous and remotely operated inspection missions with resident drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) on electrical substations.
The prototype solution comprised of
- an autonomous drone with sense & avoid and harsh weather capability
- a drone hangar for remote operations
- drone operations management software.
The project was led by KVS Technologies, and the further responsibilities in the project were divided as follows:
- KVS Technologies (now: Field Group): Drone payload, drone hangar and operations management software.
- Nordic Unmanned: Drone design and implementation.
- SINTEF: Drone autonomy (localization, collision avoidance and path planning, as well as testing of the drone in a high-voltage environment.
Results and learnings
More information about the results and learnings from the project can be found in this scientific paper published in 2021:
An autonomous drone-based system for inspection of electrical substations. In the paper, you will also find a discussion about the possibilities and challenges that such a system offers, and find an overview of requirements that are key to realizing the potential of drones for improved asset management.