AATI Announces Successful UAS Flight Campaign in Virginia
American Aerospace Technologies Inc. announced today that it has successfully completed flight tests for the energy industry flying an unmanned aircraft system from the Farmville Regional Airport in Farmville, Virginia.
Energy companies and AATI partners interested in testing and evaluating sensors, analytics and aircraft to improve the safety and integrity of our nation’s linear infrastructure, to include oil and natural gas pipelines and electric transmission lines, are sponsoring this research through the Pipeline Research Council International Inc.
In 2015, AATI conducted two BVLOS UAS flight campaigns on pipeline corridors in Central Virginia under a certificate of authorization issued by the Federal Aviation Administration to the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership at Virginia Tech. The recent flights were also conducted under a new MAAP COA covering an area of nearly 5,000 square miles in Central Virginia.
“Virginia offers an incredible environment to conduct the flight testing needed to develop safe and effective beyond line of sight UAS for the energy sector,” says David Yoel, CEO. “The energy infrastructure, the interest and backing of the energy companies, the services offered by the MAAP and the active support of the governor’s office have made this the obvious location to conduct these flight operations.”
AATI has been developing sensors and analytics to improve aerial patrol of pipeline corridors since 2010. Until recently, this work focused on machinery threat on standard patrol aircraft. AATI sensors have been flown in manned aircraft for hundreds of hours over thousands of miles of pipeline corridors.
More recently, drones have been added to the effort, including long-endurance UAS for pipeline and electrical transmission line patrol and small electric drones for use at facilities and for tower inspection. Along with developing and building systems, AATI provides aerial patrol, mapping, and inspection services using both manned and unmanned aircraft.
Published on AUVSI, Tuesday, May 24, 2016