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Drone Technologies New Zealand conducted a series of aerial drone surveying data tests for power lines in the streets of Ōtaki today.
Preferably, the drone testing is subcontracted for Electric Power, who is a local network owner.
A drone was flown over power lines near the east end of Kirk Street to conduct data tests for the company.
If you saw a drone flying over your property, or someone else’s, you most likely were notified about it, but for the most part, it was conducted over the road and safety precautions were in place if a car were to pass under.
Comprehensive inspections on Electric Powers’ assets were undertaken in aspects of photography and thermal imaging that gives a good understanding of the quality status of the assets using the drone.
“We are a local company, a north island local company that supports businesses in adopting new technologies in drones into their business and the advantages of that close proximity and the high accuracy data you get out of it,” said Ben Plummer who was working at the site.
The company uses DJI drone technology to conduct the tests.
“For critical infrastructure, we are doing here today, we are using a dual payload which carries two cameras on a specific path that is built for powerline inspection,” said Ben Plummer.
The drone is protected from any risks by redundancy of power, collision avoidance technology including six censors in every direction — the censors keep the craft (drone) away from any fixed objects.
ABS transponders and receivers are also on the drone so it can pick up and communicate with other aircraft that are flying around in the area.
“We can communicate with other traffic in the air traffic control and our airband radio as well,” said Ben Plummer
“We have had a really good response from the community in this project, and we have had a lot of commentary about the advantages and the positive response to drones vs helicopters and having the drone is the advantage of being nimble and being able to get close to the asset but reducing the noise and damage to stop the stress of environments and people’s wellbeing in the area,” concluded Ben Plummer.
The company Drone Technologies New Zealand also does work with other entities like the Department of Conservation for environmental data studies, including Land Care Research for other data studies related to them using drone technology.