The DA flight team had an eventful weekend in early December. We arranged with a major energy plant in the Midwest to fly an Aertos™ 120 inspection drone inside their facility — to look for the small steam leak we’d heard about. This facility provides energy to major facilities and metropolitan infrastructure in a large midwest city.
The risks were significant: the plant would not shut down during the flight, and the Digital Aerolus team and the facility must trust in the technology that allows Aertos inspection drones to navigate indoors and in challenging environments where signals from GPS satellites are not available.
The power-generating facility is sturdy and timeworn: deliberate, overbuilt, and dense with looming tangles of pipe, brick, and steel. The twisted maze of tubes and passageways and the anachronistic Steampunk surroundings gave us the feeling we were exploring the past.
We believe in our technology: Digital Aerolus is unlocking the 50% of the world that up until now has not been accessible to exploration by commercial UAVs that are unable to navigate stably without signals from earth-orbit satellites. We’re deploying Aertos UAVs with proprietary Folded Geometry flight Code to fly indoor and underground missions — in mines, warehouses, and power plants, and around dense infrastructure that defeats other commercial inspection drones.
In the 3-camera video stream below, the Aertos 120 inspection drone conducts several slow passes inside the facility’s large room to complete a sustained 6+-min. flight mission examining pipes, tanks, and infrastructure. (Note that the PiP FPV camera image is continuous and uninterrupted to document the duration of this sustained flight.) The payload includes 2 onboard hi-res cams: a Foxeer Predator Micro FPV, and a gimbal-mounted Garmin VIRB Ultra 30.