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Autonomous Inspection of Electrical Transmission Structures with Airborne UV Sensors - NASA Report on Dominion Virginia Power Flights of November 2016The report details test and measurement flights to demonstrate autonomous UAV inspection of high voltage electrical transmission structures. A UAV built with commercial, off-the-shelf hardware and software, supplemented with custom sensor logging software, measured ultraviolet emissions from a test generator placed on a low-altitude substation and a medium-altitude switching tower. Since corona discharge precedes catastrophic electrical faults on high-voltage structures, detection and geolocation of ultraviolet emissions is needed to develop a UAV-based self-diagnosing power grid. Signal readings from an onboard ultraviolet sensor were validated during flight with a commercial corona camera. Geolocation was accomplished with onboard GPS; the UAV position was logged to a local ground station and transmitted in real time to a NASA server for tracking in the national airspace.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Langley Research Center
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Moore, Andrew J.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Schubert, Matthew
(Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc. Hampton, VA, United States)
Nicholas Rymer
(National Inst. of Aerospace Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
May 23, 2017
Publication Date
May 1, 2017
Subject Category
Aeronautics (General)
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 154692.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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