BVLOS UAS Energy Industry Flight Tests in Virginia
American Aerospace Technologies, Inc. (AATI) announced that it has successfully completed flight tests for the energy industry utilizing Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) from the Farmville Regional Airport in Farmville, VA. The campaign just completed was the first in Virginia where flights originated at an operating airport, and the first with an end-to-end system that delivered critical data to end users in near real-time. Flights with AATI’s RS-20 UAS were conducted May 10-13.
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, including oil & 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 (COA) issued by the FAA to the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) at Virginia Tech. The recent flights were conducted under a new MAAP COA covering
The configuration of energy infrastructure in central Virginia and the support of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP), energy companies, the airport and the Governor’s Office, have created a uniquely valuable environment to conduct the aviation research needed to accelerate safe integration of UAS into the national airspace, and to test and evaluate sensors, analytics and communications systems needed to address the key challenges facing industry.
David Yoel, CEO, said “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. 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.”
Published on UAS Vision Wednesday May 25, 2016