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DP&L Partners with senseFly and Sinclair College to Build Drone Program and Bolster Enterprise Utilities Management

Ohio-based energy provider, Dayton Power & Light (DP&L), in partnership with Sinclair College’s National UAS Training and Certification Center, is employing a fleet of senseFly eBee X fixed-wing drones to improve its large-scale data collection and mapping capacity. Over a nine-month period, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) will be used to inspect 4,000 miles of power transmission lines, supporting electricity delivery for the 1.25 million residents of the Dayton, Ohio region. 

Under the collaboration, DP&L and Sinclair will employ four senseFly eBee X drones to gain visual insights that will help address the diverse challenges facing the energy industry, when conducting equipment inspections – such as vegetation encroachment near power lines or damage caused by storms that can lead to electricity delivery disruptions. The resulting high-resolution imagery will be used to build accurate assessments of affected areas through the generation of maps, digital elevation models (DEM) and other products. The technology will also aid in day-to-day essential maintenance, creating long-term efficiencies and streamlining energy management.  


To support its team in deploying and integrating the eBee X drones and to generate quality and accurate data, DP&L is also partnering with Sinclair College to spearhead the drone training efforts—leveraging the State of Ohio’s TechCred program to train multiple operators and equip the DP&L team with the knowledge needed to execute drone mapping and inspection projects.  

“Having access to accurate and timely data to detect any changes to the power lines, whether gradual or sudden, is crucial to keep power up-and-running, particularly in Ohio, where storms are frequent,” comments Rob Beeler, Customer Business Manager at DP&L. “This partnership with senseFly and Sinclair College is a key milestone for us, and we’re excited to be playing a part in exploring the full potential of UAS technology in the energy sector at scale. We’re also happy to be working closely with the local Dayton community throughout the project, keeping them informed of the project’s progress as well as our ongoing commitment to limiting power outages and providing better customer service.” 

  

Dr. Andrew Shepherd, Executive Director and Chief Scientist for UAS at Sinclair College, adds: “The eBee X is a high-quality system that is easy to use and simple to integrate into workflows, so it was a quick decision to adopt senseFly for this project. The end-to-end usability of the technology is also key here, allowing us to quickly generate detailed map and terrain data and seamlessly create a permanent record for DP&L to share with internal and external stakeholders.” 

Gilles Labossière, CEO at senseFly, comments: “This is an excellent example of how organizations can use multiple drones on a project to help increase capacity and improve efficiencies. The adoption of drone technology has important benefits across the energy industry, and we are pleased to support Sinclair College and DP&L to highlight how drones can radically improve workflows.”  

For further information, visit www.sensefly.com. 

About senseFly 
At senseFly, we believe in using technology to make work safer and more efficient. As the global leader in fixed-wing drones, our proven drone solutions simplify the collection and analysis of geospatial data, allowing professionals in surveying, agriculture, engineering, and humanitarian aid to make better decisions, faster. The company is a commercial drone subsidiary of Parrot Group. For more information, visit www.senseFly.com, and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. 

Press contact 

Barrett Dixon Bell for senseFly  

senseFly@bdb.co.uk 

About The Dayton Power and Light Company 

The Dayton Power and Light Company is the principal subsidiary of DPL Inc. (DPL), a regional energy provider and an AES company. DPL’s primary subsidiaries include The Dayton Power and Light Company. The Dayton Power and Light Company, a regulated electric utility, provides service to over 527,000 customers in West Central Ohio. For more information about the company, please visit www.dpandl.com. Connect with DP&L at www.twitter.com/dpltoday, www.linkedin.com/company/dayton-power-and-light, and at www.facebook.com/DPLToday. 

About AES 

The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) is a Fortune 500 global power company. We provide affordable, sustainable energy to 14 countries through our diverse portfolio of distribution businesses as well as thermal and renewable generation facilities. Our workforce is committed to operational excellence and meeting the world’s changing power needs. Our 2019 revenues were $10 billion and we own and manage $34 billion in total assets.  To learn more please visit www.aes.com.  Follow AES on Twitter @TheAESCorp 

About Sinclair College’s National UAS Training and Certification Center  

Sinclair College’s National UAS Training and Certification Center represents the culmination of a focused vision dedicated to creating one of the most comprehensive and pioneering facilities for the advancement of the UAS industry through training, consulting, and applied research support. Since 2008, Sinclair College has been at the forefront of UAS innovation, creating partnerships, developing leading curriculum, and investing significantly to establish a nationally prominent program dedicated to meeting the workforce needs of the growing UAS industry.  To learn more about the Sinclair College National UAS Training and Certification Center, visit uas.sinclair.edu 

Photo:  Rob Beeler, DP&L Customer Business Manager (left) and Alexander Catalan, Sinclair College UAS Technician (right) with a DP&L senseFly eBee X following a test flight – August 2020