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TRIMIS

THRUST - SUBSTITUTING HELICOPTERS WITH CLIMATE-FRIENDLY FIXED-WING DRONES FOR INFRASTRUCTURE INSPECTION

PROJECTS
Funding
European
European Union
Duration
-
Geo-spatial type
Infrastructure Node
Total project cost
€0
EU Contribution
€75 000
Project Acronym
THRUST
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport electrification (ELT)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Freight transport

Overview

Call for proposal
HORIZON-EIE-2021-SCALEUP-01
Link to CORDIS
Background & Policy context

There are some 5.3 million kilometres of power lines in the EU, all of which need to be inspected on a regular basis. Many of those check-ups take place using greenhouse-gas-emitting helicopters. The EU-funded THRUST project aims to devise greener monitoring devices, creating a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with LiDAR, visible light and thermal cameras. The new drones will inspect up to 300 km of lines daily and use machine learning to find faults in the grid. The project will also encourage more women to work in aviation. Researchers estimate that if fully realised, replacing helicopters and inspection crews could save 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 annually in the EU.

Objectives

In EU alone total length of overhead electricity lines reaches staggering 5.3 million km. That is more than 5 million km of potential fail points, that need to be inspected and maintained in order to ensure the reliability of electricity supply. Currently, these inspections are carried out by helicopters or walking inspection crews. However, the walking crews are slow and inefficient, while helicopters are expensive and damaging our climate (helicopters consume 60 liters of fuel per hour).
Our solution – substituting helicopters and walking crews with our new generation unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with LiDAR , RGB and thermal cameras, combined with machine learning (ML) powered analytics, that can quickly and accurately identify defects and faults in electricity grid elements. Our team have developed a drone, capable to carry combination of sensors at the same time, designed to fly slow and at low altitude for higher data quality and inspecting up to 300 km per day. THRUST drones are capable to fully substitute walking inspector crew and helicopters for infrastructure inspections at a fraction of a cost. Furthermore, our drones emit 171 times less CO2 per km than helicopters, and 10 times less than cars. Our drones have potential to cut EU CO2 emissions by 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 annually.
With the help Women TechEU we will prepare for the next fundraising round, expand our innovation partner network and launch a media campaign to encourage more women to join aviation industry. This project objective is to position our company to be the catalyst for higher women involvement in aviation industry, through leading by example, as well as increasing THRUST scalability to become leading deep-tech start-up in drone-based infrastructure inspections.

Funding

Specific funding programme
HORIZON.3.2 - European innovation ecosystems
Other Programme
HORIZON-EIE-2021-SCALEUP-01-03 Women TechEU

Partners

Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
€75 000

Technologies

Technology Theme
Aircraft design and manufacturing
Technology
Long flight duration drones
Development phase
Implementation

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