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My Old Kentucky Drone: City plans to use drones to inspect city infrastructure

NC GAZETTE / WBRT RADIO
STAFF REPORT

Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020 — Starting Aug. 31, 2020, the City of Bardstown will begin using drone technology to assist with inspections of the city’s infrastructure in Bardstown and Nelson County.

The focus of the city’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program will be for routine and emergency inspections of the city’s utility infrastructure, which includes cable TV, internet and electric utility lines.

The drones are equipped with high-definition cameras to allow operators to get high-quality imagery of the target infrastructure. The city’s drone operators will complete a training program, with most of the approved operators earning an FAA Part 107 certification. The drones will only be used when weather conditions allow for their safe use and in accordance to FAA regulations.

The drones will be a big assist to utility crews who are seeking to locate the cause of unplanned utility outages. Drone will make it easier to conduct routine inspections of existing infrastructure, and allow inspections to be done more quickly and at less cost.

The video and images captured by the city drones will be stored according to city and state retention requirements.

The use of drones for infrastructure inspections isn’t new to Nelson County. Nelson Fiscal Court launched its own official drone program in December 2018, and images from the drone where used to depict needed repairs to the Old Courthouse in early 2019.

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