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Civilian Drones to Search for Downed Power Lines During Blackouts

Popular Science -- Today in ways the impending domestic drone explosion is going to change your life: a number of utilities are testing new technologies that will allow them to quickly diagnose grid problems and rapidly restore electricity to areas stricken by blackouts--technologies that include augmented reality apps and aerial drones. These prototype systems could go a long way toward streamlining the grid repair process, quickly returning households and local economies to normal after sever weather events or other power-related calamities.

One such solution, developed by the nonprofit research group EPRI (for Electric Power Research Institute), is a prototype app for the iPad that uses augmented reality to allow utility workers to quickly dial up orders for replacement equipment. A worker driving a str


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Submitted Aug 05, 2012 By: NHLiveFree
Category: Daily News Article Discussions > Topics Add to favorite topics  
Author Topic: Civilian Drones to Search for Downed Power Lines During Blackouts Back to Topics
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SycamoreISU
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Aug 6, 2012 7:41:21 AM

I think I'd rather wait a little longer to have power restored than to worry about drones being used for other, less noble purposes.
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MAC48
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Aug 6, 2012 1:14:48 AM

The use of camera equipped drones to patrol transmission and distribution lines in areas where outages have occurred makes sense. The customer either pays through rates for a utility company employee in a service truck or a mechanical device (a drone with a camera) to do an on sight damage assessment along downed line sections. It will be much cheaper to use a camera equipped drone than a service man in a service truck to the extent possible.
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bston
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Aug 6, 2012 12:00:29 AM

Having a generator as back up in case power goes out is invaluable!
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LetemEatCake
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 10:50:44 PM


Interesting article NH! Thanks for posting.

Although I thought our new meters would automatically notify the power company of an outage.
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teafortwo
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 8:27:17 PM


The potential for helpful positive applications will continue to be explored.

For those so inclined?
The potential for invasive & probably illegal applications will also :0|

Thanks for sharing NHLiveFree ;0}
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PDQBlues
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 8:17:24 PM

mabrams184: This is going to potentially be a very slippery slope. It will be very tempting for some agencies to use this technology for not so legal reasons.

You mean like invading a country that was of no threat to us? That was done even without this "slippery slope."

But it's a good idea, and perhaps even using drones in wildfires to look for people could be a great idea.
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mabrams184
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 7:49:38 PM

This is going to potentially be a very slippery slope. It will be very tempting for some agencies to use this technology for not so legal reasons.
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ExplorerWA
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 6:33:19 PM

A bill passed in by Congress in February paves the way for the use of surveillance drones in US skies on a widespread basis. The FAA predicts that by 2020 there could be up to 30,000 drones in operation nationwide.
US law enforcement bodies are already using drone technology to spy on Americans. In December last year, aPredator B drone was called in to conduct surveillance over a family farm in North Dakota as part of a SWAT raid on the Brossart family, who were suspects in the egregious crime of stealing six missing cows. Local police in this one area have already used the drone on two dozen occasions since June last year.
Last summer, the Department of Homeland Security gave the green light for police departments in the United States to deploy the ShadowHawk mini drone drone helicopter that has the ability to taze suspects from above as well as carrying 12-gauge shotguns and grenade launchers. The drone, also used against insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq, is already being used by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office in Texas.
Were losing our liberty, privacy and rights because they need to protect us......feel safe?
“Again, (America is) a stupid country with stupid people who don’t pay attention.” — Obnoxious Quotes From Bill Maher

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fuel2use
Champion Author Seattle

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 1:44:17 PM

Good thinking.
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Sneakers55
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 1:04:57 PM

On Aug 5, 2012 6:47:55 AM, BeatOPEC wrote:

>These advances were made possible by the military. If
>Obama keeps cutting our defense, we will lose out on a
>ot of innovations.

Given that the Internet was a Department of Defense innovation, maybe we should cut their research money for the next hundred years.

>It has already happened with NASA.

NASA launches iPhones into orbit to perform scientific research. Don't ask me what scientific research you can perform on an iPhone, the NASA apologists thought it was a great idea.

And as to NASA's manned space flight capacity, the gap where they are dependent on Russia was one of Bush's big ideas. NASA just got done cutting huge checks to Boeing and Sierra Nevada Corporation and SpaceX to develop the next generation of American manned spacecraft.
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mamaontheroad
Veteran Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 12:30:05 PM

great idea - our college engineers can stay employed by developing safer means to help after natural disasters. :)
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iagdboy
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 12:22:21 PM

no jobs are safe
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bwatchingu
Champion Author Arkansas

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 10:07:04 AM

interesting
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Grismer
Champion Author Kitchener-Waterloo

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 9:03:07 AM

A very worthy application of this technology.
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CivicMA
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 8:57:35 AM

Great idea!
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wamster
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 8:35:37 AM

Underground lines are great in hurricane prone areas, but not so good in earthquake country. It will certainly save fuel costs from trucks driving all over and searching.
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APlus
Champion Author San Antonio

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 8:22:21 AM

Powerlines underground or above can go out - these drones find them faster.
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playtimeCLE
Champion Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 8:18:28 AM

Another good use for drones.
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TruthMatters
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 8:18:21 AM

Also get as much powerlines buried underground so these things will not happen in the first place!
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RONALD777
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 8:10:31 AM

As long as they don't let the IRS borrow the drones at tax time to make sure we all pay lots of taxes.
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mpg611
Champion Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 8:01:06 AM

Had GW Bush did his job to protect America's homeland in the months before 9-11 then we wouldnt be talking about civilian drones. His social and cultural conservatives agendas were much more important.
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Hunter114
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 8:00:11 AM

I don't believe you can fly a drone in a bad storm.
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bar1035
Champion Author Charlotte

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 7:45:45 AM

Many live in an augmented reality state these days. Green this and that
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werich44
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 7:37:58 AM

King Obama wants you to believe this would be a good thing.
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daequitz
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 7:27:25 AM

A door is opening....that's how it starts.
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subnuke
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 7:13:22 AM

more big brother
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doeslayersr
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 7:12:26 AM

Interesting article, but better suited for a forum other than this.

kirzon484 - good comment!
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tomok
Champion Author Portland

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 7:11:11 AM

Using drones to search for downed or inoperative power lines would be cheaper BUT they can be used for other things too. Monitoring the speed of vehicles on roads and highways, monitoring speeders that are trying to escape the police, monitoring drug houses and many other ways that a helicopter would be too expensive or more quiet to do. Once more state governments and businesses get a hold of drones, they can be used for other purposes. It's not just military drones for use, there are plenty of private drones available for sale. Some are cheap enough for citizens to use as a hobby, with cameras mounted, but they lack the ability to stay in the air for long periods of time.
Whatever the size or shape of the vehicle, Produce and ‘Drive’ vehicles with high MPG, are very safe, reliable, have a ‘reasonable’ cost and a good ‘value’ for the money. Consider using other forms of less expensive transportation to lower your cost.
The price of fuel at the pump is too high!
12/22/2012
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FPLREP
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 7:10:41 AM

As an employee of a small utility, I see this as a great idea. When there are power outages everyone wants to stop you to ask when the power will be back on. It would be great to get past the people and get to the problem area to assess it.
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Foxt
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 7:09:52 AM

If there's a need someone will fill it. So how's this pertain to gas?
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mazdaboy
Champion Author Portland

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 7:09:34 AM

Drones will take over the world.
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kirzon484
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 7:09:08 AM

a chip here, a chip there. one rock at a time to take the freedom mountain down.
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RichardoB
Champion Author Fayetteville

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 7:06:56 AM

Good innovative thinking.
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checkum
Champion Author St. Louis

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 7:02:32 AM

an excuse to use spy drones!
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mnbeancounter
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 7:00:30 AM

Interesting what is happening-what else are they looking for?
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METEOR49
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 6:59:12 AM

maybe we could use the drones to find the highest priced gas station in town and destroy it , kinda makes the competition take notice .
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FMREALTOR
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 6:57:26 AM

Interesting, and my home does not need the new electric monitoring system that allowed the power company to terminate all the meter readers.
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2khawk
Champion Author Iowa

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 6:55:50 AM

With all the cell phones today maybe you should dail * then a number to let utilities know where the lines are.
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swepson
Champion Author Greensboro

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 6:54:20 AM

That's the first useful application I've seen.
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VPSNC
Veteran Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 6:52:01 AM

the gas prices angle is....?
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RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 6:51:39 AM

Do the drones seek search for the lowest gas prices too?
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PhilMils
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 6:50:59 AM

Sounds like a good use.
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bababooey2
Champion Author Hartford

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 6:50:51 AM

Differant.
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BrucePen
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 6:50:43 AM

And well there up there a couple of air strikes.
Environmental protesters come to mind.
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lsb1955
Champion Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 6:50:31 AM

ok
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Rednix
Champion Author Miami

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 6:50:13 AM

Good idea.
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TravelinMan52
Champion Author Augusta

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 6:49:30 AM

If it's beneficial, why not try it??
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curlypooh
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 6:49:25 AM

I fly, getting around the birds is bad enough down low. Banging into one of these things is not my idea of a 'good hair day' :(
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bigsranch
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 6:49:16 AM

Wonder if those drones will be armed when looking for downed power lines. You know... just in case there's any looting during the blackout.
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Rick52
Champion Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Aug 5, 2012 6:49:03 AM

They are going to be searching for many other things too !!! Watch out here comes Big Brother ..
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