Project Title: Building a Smarter Grid
Team 1404 Members:
Jacob Chess, mechanical engineering
Peter Lankisch, electrical and computer engineering
Viviana Llano, optical sciences and engineering
Daniel McLeod, electrical and computer engineering
Alex Moser, electrical and computer engineering
Eric Sahr, systems and industrial engineering
Sponsor: Tucson Electric Power
UA Engineering Design Team 1404 is designing an autonomous aircraft for Tucson Electric Power to inspect transmission lines that handle energy flow from power plants to major substations, ultimately powering customers’ homes and businesses.
The autonomous aircraft will be equipped with multiple sensors to monitor the structural health of the transmission lines and check for “hot spots” caused by bad connections.
“Currently, the transmission lines are inspected by renting a helicopter and sending a crew to fly along the transmission lines, tower by tower,” said team member Alex Moser. “This is very time consuming, inefficient and expensive. Our goal is to provide utilities with a commercial system that is more capable than those they now use.”