Westar using drones prevent outages, keep workers safe

Westar using drones prevent outages, keep workers safe


AND I’M BROOKE LENNINGTON. IT SEEMS LIKE DRONES ARE POPPING UP IN MORE INDUSTRIES — BY THE DAY. COMPANIES ARE USING THEM TO MAKE DELIVERIES. LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ARE USING THEM TO CATCH CRIMINALS. AND NOW — WESTAR IS PLANNING TO USE THEM — TO KEEP YOUR LIGHTS ON.NEW AT SIX — K-S-N- T’S CAPITOL BUREAU REPORTER “ALEC GARTNER” SHOWS US HOW IT COULD IMPROVE EMPLOYEE SAFETY — AND HELP CUSTOMERS. ### HERE AT ONE OF WESTAR’S MANY ELECTRICAL SUBSTATIONS, A WESTAR DRONE OPPORATOR CAN INSPECT HOW EQUIPMENT IS WORKING. We can zoom in up to 30 times and get information off a data plate that’s about as big as a business card or sometimes even smaller. PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE MIKE KELLY IS THE SENIOR UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS COORDINATOR AT WESTAR ENERGY. HE SAYS USING DRONES IS ABOUT PREVENTING PROBLEMS BEFORE THEY OCCUR. IT ALSO IS MUCH SAFER. Not have to put individuals in harms way near this high voltage, energized equipment, it allows us to get it quicker DRONES ARE ALSO USED INSIDE POWERPLANTS IN DIFFICULT TO REACH AREAS AND CAN HELP OUT CREWS IN THE FIELD. IT CAN SHOW THEM GREATER DISTANCES LIKE HOW WIDE THE DAMAGE IS FROM A STORM Where we have downed lines, how many poles we have down, and then relay all that information back to the field personnel so they’re more prepared before they go out in the field or while they’re out there, it just gives them a better situational awareness. WESTAR OFFICIALS HOPE TO EXPAND THE DRONE PROGRAM AND BELIEVE IT WILL POSTIVELY IMPACT CUSTOMERS AT HOME. Using drones can help reduce the number of

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