In his excellent presentation at the 2020 ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, Jacob Velky of Duke Energy discussed that company's interesting drone journey. Duke Energy currently has a fleet of approximately 100 drones (with 140 trained operators) that help inspect 30,000 miles of transmission lines and other assets across six states. He discussed the technology, regulatory, data management, and human issues associated with drone adoption and several specific use cases. These include using drones in conjunction with 3D modeling technology to inspect vertical assets, such as cooling towers, and perform internal inspections of large assets, such as boilers and tanks. He also discussed using drones in conjunction with thermal imaging technology to inspect the company's large fleet of solar assets.
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