InTech

MAY-JUN 2017

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By Marissa Morales-Rodriguez, PhD; Sterling Rooke, PhD; Peter Fuhr, PhD; and Penny Chen, PhD 20 INTECH MAY/JUNE 2017 WWW.ISA.ORG in automation Secured unmanned aerial systems F actories, refineries, utilities (water/wastewater, electric), and related industrial sites are complex systems and structures with inspec- tion and maintenance procedures required for optimal operation and regulatory compliance. For example, consider just the bulk electric power system, which comprises more than 200,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines, thousands of generation plants, and millions of digital controls. More than 1,800 entities own and operate portions of the grid system, with thousands more involved in the operation of distribution networks across North America. The interconnected and interdependent nature of the bulk power system requires a consistent and systematic ap plication of risk mitigation across the entire grid system to be truly ef- fective. Similar situations are found throughout the automation industry, which also frequently has aging infrastructure. Consider, for example, the situation in a refinery or chemical process- ing setting with the requirement for leak detection inspection of pipes, interconnects, and systems across the plant. The current practices and challenges relating just to this task of detecting any fugitive emissions and DRONES

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