EdgeData and Harris Corporation, through its Geospatial Solutions business unit, announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to accelerate the development of asset inspection and management solutions for the utility industry based on remotely sensed data and advanced machine learning technology. Leveraging a recent partnership to deliver inspection solutions to the wind turbine industry, EdgeData and Harris will work jointly under the MOU to commercialize applications that will automate key utility asset management operations including the asset identification, inspection, and post-storm damage assessment of electric utility transmission and distribution assets.
Asset and storm damage data collection is expected to be completed by utilizing both high altitude and low altitude unmanned aerial systems (UAS). EdgeData has developed expertise in deploying UAS for asset inspections as well as managing the “big data” resulting from the high-frequency data capture typical in UAS deployments. As part of their commitment to scalable and secure lifecycle data management, EdgeData recently announced the development of a 16,000 square foot data center at Grand Sky, a UAS business and aviation park in Grand Forks, N.D. The facility will feature redundant power, multiple fiber optic network connections and multiple layers of security to meet the critical infrastructure protection (CIP) requirements mandated under North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) reliability standards.
Harris Corporation will contribute to the collaboration through its expertise in image analytics and deep learning technology. Furthermore, components of Harris’ Jagwire UAS data management and exploitation solution will be deployed as part of the development under the MOU.
The proposed focus for the collaboration includes the capture and analysis of UAS-based data to address the following use cases in utility operations:
- Asset Identification
- Asset Location
- Asset Anomalies
- Change Detection
- Post-storm Damage Assessment
“UAS technology has changed the landscape for automating the asset inspection and management operations in the utility industry. It has the potential to deliver cost-effective inspection data, ultimately providing actionable information for utility owners and operators,” said Lonnie Bloomquist, CEO of EdgeData. “Together with Harris, we want to build a new, efficient, and scalable approach to utility inspection and asset management. This MOU is a confirmation that the two organizations are committed to the industry and the solution, and I look forward to working with Harris on this important project.”
“The work inherent in this MOU will play a key role in improving the operational environment for utilities,” said Robert Laudati, managing director of Commercial Products for Harris Geospatial Solutions. “By collaborating with EdgeData, we have an opportunity to deliver solutions to the utility industry with a completely different business model that improves safety, increases reliability, and optimizes costs.”