Percepto to Deploy Automated Drones for BVLOS Monitoring of Electric Power Stations in Canada

A Percepto Air Max drone in a box shown near a power utility. Photo courtesy Percepto.

AUSTIN, Texas—Percepto announced that Transport Canada has approved Ontario Power Generation Inc. to operate Percepto’s drone-in-a-box solution beyond visual line of sight at McConnell Lake Control Dam without a visual observer on site, a first in Canada.

A BVLOS special flight operations certificate (SFOC) was issued for the Percepto Air Max autonomous drone-in-a-box, as provided by Rocky Mountain Unmanned Systems and their GM Kevin Toderal, to perform remote inspections in a pilot project starting this month.

Laying the groundwork for similar highly-automated BVLOS SFOCs for other Canadian Percepto customers, the Ontario Power Generation facility will gain the benefits of remote, high frequency visual inspection with actionable insights with the possibility to centrally control drone-in-a-box fleets at multiple sites.

The announcement comes shortly after Percepto achieved a U.S. nationwide BVLOS waiver, empowering qualified Percepto customers to immediately gain actionable insights from remotely operated drones. Percepto’s automated drone-in-a-box technology has been deployed by other electric utilities to monitor the durability of power grid infrastructure and quickly detect problems, enabling faster response times and restoring power quicker after storms and other disasters.

“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 Percepto Policy & Government Affairs Vice President Neta Gliksman. “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.”

Canadian power utilities are seeking to ensure their power grid and stations are as resilient as possible. Featuring a ruggedized drone-in-a-box, Percepto operations will be coordinated on a single platform through the company’s autonomous inspection and monitoring system. With Percepto AIM, drones can be operated remotely to ensure they work together in sync, providing maximum site coverage with increased safety, efficiency and ease of operation.

“We look forward to gaining new operation and infrastructure insights at McConnell Lake Control Dam,” said Ontario Power Generation Senior Information System Specialist Tim Trebilcock. “Our hope is that this technology will help our efforts to ensure asset integrity and reliable electricity generation for Ontarians.”