As UAS technology and regulation evolve, more missions get added to the list of drone applications. Among the earliest to be identified were the missions related to the electric industry (e.g. power line surveillance, windmill inspection). In France, major stakeholders, like Engie-Ineo, invest in research and development to allow such solutions to become reality.
Similar activities are taking place on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Last month (February), the Oak Ridge National Laboratory released a 168 pages survey entitled: « An Early Survey of Best Practices for the Use of Small UAS by the Electric Utility Industry ». After reviewing the basis of UAS working, this document lists numerous applications for drones in the electric industry. More importantly, it identify operational considerations related to each possible drone mission, with dedicate processes and requirements. This is a major source of information for anyone willing to work with drones and electric facilities.
The Oak Ridge report can be found here.