NYSEARCH/RG&E Test Small Unmanned Aerial System
(sUAS) For Inspection of Gate Station & Pipeline Assets

NYSEARCH’s project entitled “Regulatory and Technology Assessment of small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS)” has successfully completed test flights at a gate station area in Mendon, NY. These tests were hosted by Rochester Gas & Electric. The sUAS flights were performed to determine applicability of the drone technology to inspect gate station and pipeline assets.

In addition to gaining FAA approval for the test flight on October 19, 2015, the sUAS was successfully deployed by Pictometry Inc., a NYSEARCH contractor. As a result, the project team has collected high resolution imagery of multiple gate station assets. Additional flights are now planned for other test areas. With the assistance of NuAir Alliance, another NYSEARCH contractor, FAA has given NYSEARCH an exemption to fly test flights without pre-approval.

For over thirty years, NYSEARCH has worked as a consortium of natural gas Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) who have a common interest and need for research and technology development and demonstration. Today, as part of the Northeast Gas Association (NGA), NYSEARCH manages over (30) projects in various stages of development for LDCs, transmission companies, federal agencies and their manufacturing and commercial partners. NYSEARCH is located in Parsippany, NJ and NGA is headquartered in Needham, Massachusetts.