Delek US Gains First BVLOS Approval for Autonomous Drone Inspections at US Refinery Using Percepto AIM
by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby
Autonomous inspection leader Percepto has announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations for Delek US Holdings’ refineries in Tyler, Texas and El Dorado, Arkansas. The facilities were inspected by Percepto drones, which provided visual data management and analysis. This BVLOS approval positions Delek US’s refineries as the first to receive such an approval, as well as one of the first among US energy companies. This is only the latest of many operational approvals to be received by Percepto customers,such as Florida Power & Light, Verizon Skyward, and other industrial sites in Australia, Italy, Spain, Norway, Portugal and Israel.
The BVLOS approval, which permits Delek US to operate its drones without a pilot to maintain line of sight with the drone, allows an operator located in the control room to easily manage and monitor pre-scheduled fully autonomous drone missions.
“This approval to use autonomous drone technology is a huge step forward towards cleaner and safer refineries within the oil and gas industry,” said Dor Abuhasira, CEO of Percepto. “Congratulations to Delek US for being pioneers in digital transformation, and implementing new procedures within an industry that has been seeking new solutions to old problems.”
“Percepto’s end-to-end system supports our environmental, social and governance goals to deliver safe and reliable autonomous drones that can be operated remotely while in compliance with US FAA regulations,” said Delek SVP, Business Transformation, Grigor Bambekov. “By working in partnership with Percepto, Delek US is gaining more effective, efficient, reliable, and profitable utilization of its assets through the next generation of Industry 4.0 drone ecosystems.”
The Percepto’s Autonomous Inspection & Monitoring (AIM) platform, which manages Percepto drones, recently received an upgrade with AIM 2022, which features the most recent configuration of the Percepto Sparrow and the Percepto Air Max. In addition to other payload and capability upgrades, the Air Max comes equipped with an OGI camera capable of detecting gas emissions.
AIM 2022 also provides AI-powered packaged solutions for sector-specific use cases, including oil, gas, and other industries. As the first industry solution to accumulate visual data from all third-party surveillance devices on site, Percepto’s platform offers a unified view of the entire facility, granting insights for quick and efficient action. Via its change detection framework based on drone-collected data, the Tyler and El Dorado refineries utilize AIM and Air Max drones to continue remote operations 24/7, with capability to automate a select set of day-to-day operations, maintenance, security, and special projects tasks, provide aerial surveillance, monitoring, and inspection of assets, equipment, machinery, materials, and supplies, enable emergency response and crisis management services, guarantee compliance with environmental and safety regulations, and keep workers safe with pre-emptive risk notifications and mitigation services.
Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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