October 2018, Vol. 245, No. 10

Features

Drones: Flights of Fancy or Future of the Energy Industry?

By Richard Nemec, Contributing EditorAs wildfires again ravaged much of California and other western states this summer, energy industry professionals like Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s (PG&E) Ned Biehl and Francois Rongere could hardly imagine what their counterparts just a few years earlier had to deal with amid similar natural disasters without drones. A UAS in flight carrying a sensor developed by NASA to detect methane on Mars. Photo: PG&E Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), which robotically assess dangerous situations with little or no human risk, have literally helped shrink the job of maintaining regular monitoring of ene

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