July 2016, Vol. 243, No. 7

Features

PG&E Testing Safety Drones to Inspect Gas and Electric Infrastructure

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is testing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones, to enhance the safety and reliability of its electric and gas service. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has authorized PG&E to use drones to assist with inspections of electric and gas infrastructure. PG&E is conducting two separate testing programs to explore the feasibility of using safety drones to monitor electric infrastructure in hard-to-reach areas and to detect methane leaks across its 70,000-square-mile service area. These aircraft are small and controlled by human operators through remote commands. Drones are flown safely over PG&E’s electric

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