Percepto, an autonomous inspection and monitoring solutions provider, has announced that Transport Canada has approved operation of its drone solution at McConnell Lake Control Dam without an observer on site, which is reportedly a first for Canada.
A BVLOS Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) was issued for the Percepto Air Max autonomous drone-in-a-box, which has been provided by Rocky Mountain Unmanned Systems, to perform remote inspections in a trial beginning this month.
It is hoped that this approval will see the Ontario Power Generation facility gain the benefits of remote, high frequency visual inspection with actionable insights, including the functionality of centrally controlling drone-in-a-box fleets at multiple sites.
The announcement comes shortly after Percepto achieved a U.S. nationwide BVLOS waiver, meaning Percepto customers can immediately begin to use remotely operated drones.
The company claims its automated drone technology has been deployed by other electric utilities to monitor the durability of power grid infrastructure and perform troubleshooting tasks.
“Obtaining this certificate marks a significant milestone in Canada to provide remote and autonomous inspections at power generating facilities, fulfilling Percepto’s mission to provide safe and reliable critical infrastructure,” said Neta Gliksman, VP policy and government affairs, Percepto.
“We look forward to growing our strong working relationship with Transport Canada and supporting their efforts to create a thriving environment for drone operations by making autonomous drone technology available to power stations and other critical infrastructure across the country.”
Oversight of the drone’s activities will be coordinated via a single platform through the company’s Autonomous Inspection and Monitoring (AIM) solution, which is designed to let users remotely control its solutions and ensure they are working in sync.
“We look forward to gaining new operation and infrastructure insights at McConnell Lake Control Dam,” said Tim Trebilcock, senior information system specialist at Ontario Power Generation.
“Our hope is that this technology will help our efforts to ensure asset integrity and reliable electricity generation for Ontarians.”