Commercial infrastructure inspection conducted with UAV BVLOS is one step closer to becoming an accepted practice.

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) received permission to conduct a Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone operation leveraging only onboard detect-and-avoid systems.  This is the first FAA-authorized operation to fly without a requirement for visual observers or ground-based radar and is the result of efforts to advance drone technologies directed by the 31-member Kansas Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP) team.

The Kansas IPP team will fly a nine-mile track to evaluate technologies to inspect power lines in rural Kansas.  The data will be shared with the FAA. The partners will use Iris Automation’s Casia onboard collision avoidance system.