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As part of the study , the drone operated fully automatically outside the field of view and without an active pilot, inspecting a total of 70 transmission towers and their lines for problems such as cable damage and bird nests. Cameras recorded images along the approximately 20 km route and then transmitted them to an AI system that had been trained for several weeks to evaluate the images. The drone experts of the Leipzig company FlyNex first had manned aircraft fly by 16 masts of Mitteldeutsche Netzgesellschaft Strom mbh in order to create a database of 3,000 images that provided the artificial intelligence system with initial training.

“We have known for some time that flights beyond the operator’s line of sight are possible. This is precisely where drones provide an enormous economic advantage. Transmission towers and overhead lines in particular, as well as gas pipelines, are predestined for this type of airborne inspection,” explains Michael Petrosjan, CFO of FlyNex. The company plans to extend its cooperation to further projects in the fields of construction, renewable energies and nature conservation.