Florida Power & Light introduced a new unmanned aerial vehicle, designed to fly in tropical storm winds to accelerate the recovery of electricity. The largest power company in Florida stated that a drone of this magnitude was the first of its kind to be used outside the U.S. Federal Civil Aviation Authority test site for research and development.
The drone is now presented on a random basis: the Atlantic is about to enter the hurricane season, and the FPLair One model is equipped with a fixed wing designed to fly in tropical storm winds.
The drone itself resembles a small aircraft and is remotely controlled. Software captures and transmits images and videos of damaged electrical equipment in real time to a special command centre. It flies up to 1,600 km at a time — enough to search the entire area of Florida twice after devastating storms.
"Instead of going outside and trying to figure out what's going on, we can save hours and days to turn on the light more quickly," said Eric Silagi, chairman and CEO of Florida Power and Light in an interview with Associated Press.
The drone can be deployed even during a severe storm, and the data will help the ground crew to navigate.
Unlike satellites, the drone operates under cloud cover, remaining in the air for 22 hours without refuelling.