Hydrogen-Fueled Drones Will Inspect U.S. Gas Pipeline
Article by Jason Reagan | DroneLife
Public-safety drone consultancy Skyfire Consulting has announced a partnership with UAV company Doosan Mobility Innovation and hydrogen-fuel service provider ReadyH2 to tackle a pipeline-inspection project for an unnamed American company.
Doosan will deploy a hydrogen-powered octocopter. The drone sports a hydrogen-powered generator fueling two hours of flight time per mission over nearly 50 miles. ReadyH2, in cooperation with parent company Fortress UAV, will be responsible for providing a ready supply of hydrogen gas for the project.
“The six-month mission will establish inspection procedures for a domestic gas pipeline.
“Distances like that are simply not possible on battery technology,” Skyfire CEO Matt Sloane said.
“We’re thrilled … to address a very complex problem of transporting information and items long distances both quickly and efficiently, especially during emergencies and weather issues.”
Last year, the consortium completed a 43-mile, proof-of-concept, medical delivery from St. Croix to St. Thomas under contract with the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Health.
The mission delivered simulation vials as a surrogate for diagnostic samples or vaccines in a temperature-controlled payload system.
With the pipeline project, the group will simulate a variety of emergency-response scenarios. The end result — new alerting and reporting protocols that can be used by pipeline companies and public-safety agencies.
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