North Carolina-based PrecisionHawk has purchased drone inspection service HAZON as well as renewable energy data company InspecTools.
The acquisitions will expand PrecisionHawk’s already impressive array of drone-based solutions by adding more horsepower to inspection missions for distribution lines, transmission lines, solar panels, wind turbines, and utility infrastructure.
HAZON has delivered more than 13,000 inspections totaling more than 8,000 hours of flight time, with a majority focused in energy markets for Fortune 500 utilities.
InspectTools develops data-analysis software for both solar panel and wind turbine inspection for energy providers like Vestas, PG&E, and SMA Solar.
“We’re very pleased to bring together the established technology and multi-market reputation of HAZON and InspecTools with PrecisionHawk’s experience, team and expanded portfolio,” said Michael Chasen, CEO of PrecisionHawk. “By combining these offerings, our customers will have access to extensive and leading-edge energy products and services, regulatory expertise and a record of safe, secure and compliant operations.”
InspecTools CEO Paul Bingaman as well as HAZON CEO David Culler will join PrecisionHawk’s executive team.
“HAZON is excited to bring our world-class best practices and reputation for standards-based operations and safety to the PrecisionHawk team,” commented HAZON CEO David A. Culler, Jr. CAPT, USN (ret.). “By joining PrecisionHawk, our customers gain access to the next level of technological sophistication for more scalable, predictive and cost-efficient drone solutions that drive better business intelligence.”
InspecTools CEO, Paul Bingaman said: “InspecTools brings years of experience, analytics tools and machine vision software for renewable energy that is an immediate value-add to PrecisionHawk’s software analytics platform. This relationship further enhances the technologies and services that are fundamental to advancing the economic potential of drones in the energy market.”
Last year, PrecisionHawk and HAZON integrated HAZON’s drone management system with PrecisionHawk’s Low Altitude Traffic and Airspace Safety platform – a solution that links drones, 3D ground data and live manned aircraft data from global aviation authorities into a single system.
Inspection drone services are expected to light up the energy/utility sector.
According to a Deloitte report, drones are capable of inspecting 15 – 20 wind turbines per day and make a significant dent in the estimated $2-billion annual cost Europe spends currently on turbine inspections.
A team comprised of AeroVironment, Dominion Virginia Power, the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership has tested BVLOS powerline inspections using a satellite network and AeroVironment’s Puma, a military-grade, fixed wing drone.
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