BNSF Railroad Starting to use UAVs to Survey Rail Assets

BSNF Railroad will be testing UAVs with a FAA Exception to operate Beyond Line of Site.  They have 32,500 miles of railroad track and are testing UAVs even with their limited ranges of around 4miles for some models.  PrecisionHawk USA are providing the UAV aerial platforms.

The UAVs will be equipped with small LiDAR systems to detect cracks and other track defects.  BNSF is also experimenting with a security observation role to keep the tracks clear due to trespassing on the right of way of the railroad tracks.


About Chuck Schoeneberger

Former forecaster at Meridian Environmental Technologies Inc (now a Interis Company), with a background in GIS and LiDAR, with other stints at GeoSpatial Services of Winona, MN and Aerometric (Now Quantum Spatial) of Sheboygan, WI. He is a weather technologist for public storm safety from a local to international level. LinkedIn Profile: His views are his own and not of his employer.
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