In partnership with Nokia and the New York Power Authority (NYPA), InDro Robotics ran a highly successful demonstration with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), or drones, that were installed with private LTE wireless technology.
The first-of-its-kind, InDro Robotics’ drone inspection with NYPA – one of the United States’ largest state public power organizations – exhibited the ability to control onboard high definition and thermal imaging devices during inspections within close proximity of in-service transmission lines.
InDro Robotics’ was chosen for this project due to their extensive expertise in operating UAV’s in unprecedented ways when NYPA was scouting out drones for transmission line inspection.
These test flights were also aimed at assisting the NYPA, and possibly other corporations, to safely inspect miles of transmission lines using wireless networks to convey images and data.
Within the visual line of sight and fully compliant with FAA rules and regulations, the drone flights took place in December 2020 at NYPA’s Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project in Schoharie County, New York.
The test flights were part of the NYPA pilot program, which began when the NYPA partnered with Nokia of America Corporation to pilot private wireless LTE technology. Using Nokia’s Digital Automation Cloud platform, NYPA is hoping to build a secure and reliable network that would enhance operational and programmatic benefits. Once this network is finalized, NYPA expects to petition the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to fly drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) to make their inspections of transmission lines easier.
In using the LTE wireless network system for inspections, NYPA is looking to adopt the network in other areas. This includes workforce mobility applications (voice-over LTE), 30x optimal zoom camera, deep metering services and data of customer energy consumption, Wi-Fi telephony and Push-to-Talk (PTT) applications, as well as data transport that would support NYPA energy efficiency initiatives.