In a first of its kind approval by Transport Canada, a drone-in-a-box solution from autonomous inspection and monitoring solution provider Percepto is to monitor Ontario Power Generation Inc’s (OPG) McConnell Lake Control Dam without a visual observer on site.
A Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) was issued for the Percepto Air Max autonomous drone-in-a-box, as provided by Rocky Mountain Unmanned Systems and their GM Kevin Toderal, to perform remote inspections in a pilot project starting this month.
The announcement comes shortly after Percepto achieved a US nationwide BVLOS waiver, allowing qualified Percepto customers to immediately gain actionable insights from remotely operated drones. Percepto's automated drone-in-a-box technology has been deployed by other electric utilities to monitor the durability of power grid infrastructure and quickly detect problems, enabling faster response times and restoring power quicker after storms and other disasters.
"Obtaining this certificate marks a significant milestone in Canada to provide remote and autonomous inspections at power generating facilities, fulfilling Percepto's mission to provide safe and reliable critical infrastructure," said Percepto Policy & Government Affairs VP Neta Gliksman. "We look forward to growing our strong working relationship with Transport Canada and supporting their efforts to create a thriving environment for drone operations by making autonomous drone technology available to power stations and other critical infrastructure across the country."
Percepto operations will be coordinated on a single platform through the company's Autonomous Inspection and Monitoring (AIM) solution. With Percepto AIM, drones can be operated remotely to ensure they work together in sync, providing maximum site coverage with increased safety, efficiency and ease of operation,” said the company.
"We look forward to gaining new operation and infrastructure insights at McConnell Lake Control Dam," said Ontario Power Generation Senior Information System Specialist Tim Trebilcock. "Our hope is that this technology will help our efforts to ensure asset integrity and reliable electricity generation for Ontarians."