Drones to inspect I&M power lines next week

If you see drones buzzing around power lines next week, don’t be alarmed.

Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) will use drones to inspect transmission lines in the east central area of Fort Wayne beginning Monday, Dec. 17. The drone inspection of wires and poles helps I&M ensure the reliability and integrity of the area’s transmission system. The inspection will continue for approximately three days, weather permitting.

I&M is contracting with Asymmetric Technologies, which has conducted numerous drone flights. Each inspection flight will include a licensed drone pilot and a camera operator/inspector on the ground. Asymmetric will follow Federal Aviation Administration rules requiring the pilot to maintain line of sight to the drone at all times. The inspection team will move from place to place on the ground along the transmission lines, and the drone will hover at transmission poles for extended periods of time to obtain numerous high-resolution photographs for structure condition assessment.