The Drones project aims to develop a new class of autonomous aerial vehicle, enabling a tool with greater agility and lower operating costs, and with the ability to acquire visual and thermographic inspection data on the electrical grid’s transmission and distribution lines.
Currently, the inspection of transmission lines is performed from the air by helicopters, making the cost of this category of inspection very high. The inspection of transmission lines are usually carried out by teams traveling along the lines, having as main difficulties the access, inspection time and questionable quality in the structures inspection. Alternative solutions are through unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAV).
However, this problem demands fast aircraft operation, versatility in mission scheduling, the ability to perform hover flight, and a large coverage. These features lead to the need for developing a hybrid aircraft capable of performing the desired inspection tasks quickly, safely, and cost-effectively for the company.
The project is coordinated by INESC R&D Brazil and has the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF) as a participant. In addition, it is financed by the “Transmissoras Brasileiras de Energia – TBE” company.