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Transpower shares innovative drone technology with students

Media Release

23 November 2016

Transpower shares innovative drone technology with local students

Transpower today announced Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS, or drones) will shortly be used to conduct aerial surveys along the transmission lines connecting Albany and Henderson in Auckland.

On Monday 28 November, Transpower will host two live demonstrations of this technology in action, giving local communities a preview of what the surveys will look like later in the month. The first demonstration will be a live aerial survey of transmission lines in Whenuapai. The second demonstration will take place at nearby Kristin School, as part of a digital technology lesson.

Transpower’s General Manager Grid Development Stephen Jay said as owner and operator of the National Grid, we undertake a large number of aerial operations to assess the quality and condition of transmission lines.

“By using a combination of RPAS technology and helicopters, we can achieve considerable efficiencies in how we inspect and maintain the National Grid.

“This exercise will allow us to assess locations where using RPAS technology instead of helicopters could be a less intrusive for landowners and improve safety for our staff while helping us to better understand where manned aerial operations will still be required.

“I look forward to showing local schools, industry and members of the community how this exciting technology works at our demonstrations next week,” he said.

Details of the drone demonstration

The first demonstration will take place on Monday 28 November from 12:00pm-1:00pm, at a property in Whenuapai. A helicopter and a drone will be conducting an aerial inspection within easy sight of the viewing area.

The second demonstration will take place at Kristin School at 2pm. The drone will land on the school field and conduct a survey of the grounds as part of a digital technology lesson.

Background information:

• Guidelines for RPAS use are available on Transpower’s website: These are to be applied in addition to the Civil Aviation Authority Regulations governing RPAS use.

• From February 2017, Transpower will be carrying out additional trials of RPAS across the Rimutakas, in consultation with the Civil Aviation Authority and local airspace users viathe Airshare website.

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