Delek US Earns BVLOS Approval for Refineries Inspection via Drone


January 25, 2022

Percepto, which develops autonomous inspection through industrial robotics, has announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations for Delek US Holdings’ refineries in Tyler, Texas, and El Dorado, Ark. Through the use of Percepto drones, the company could inspect its facilities and receive visual data management and analysis.

Percepto said the approval makes Delek’s refineries the first to receive such an approval, and is one of the first among U.S. energy companies. Percepto said other companies, including Florida Power & Light, Verizon Skyward and other industrial sites in Australia, Italy, Spain, Norway, Portugal and Israel also perform BVLOS operations.

The approval allows Delek US to operate its drones without a pilot to maintain line of sight with the drone. An operator located in a control room can manage and monitor pre-scheduled fully autonomous drone missions.

“This approval to use autonomous drone technology is a huge step forward towards cleaner and safer refineries within the oil and gas industry,” said Dor Abuhasira, CEO of Percepto. “Congratulations to Delek US for being pioneers in digital transformation, and implementing new procedures within an industry that has been seeking new solutions to old problems.”

PerceptoAirMobile400x275Percepto’s drones are managed by the company’s Autonomous Inspection & Monitoring (AIM) platform, which was recently upgraded in 2022. The new software includes the latest configuration of the Percepto Sparrow and the Percepto Air Max, which features an OGI camera that can detect gas emissions. AIM 2022 also delivers artificial intelligence-powered packaged solutions for sector-specific use cases, including oil and gas and other industries. The platform can also collate visual data from third-party surveillance devices on site, giving users a unified view of the entire facility to deliver insights for action. Through a change detection framework based on drone-collected data, Delek’s refineries can leverage AIM and Air Max drones to maintain remote operations 24/7, Percepto said.

“Percepto’s end-to-end system supports our environmental, social and governance goals to deliver safe and reliable autonomous drones that can be operated remotely while in compliance with U.S. FAA regulations,” said Grigor Bambekov, senior vice president of business transformation at Delek US.

For more details on Percepto’s offerings, visit its website here.

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