Drone-based inspection company Percepto, which provides a drone and AI solution for the monitoring of industrial sites, was approved as a partner on Israeli energy company Delek’s US-based refineries on January 26.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved Percepto’s “Beyond Visual Line of Sight” (BVLOS) project for the internal inspection and monitoring of Delek US Holdings’ refineries in Tyler, Texas and El Dorado, Arkansas, making Delek US’s refineries among the first US energy companies to receive such an approval.
The BVLOS project enables Delek US to operate its drones without a pilot to maintain a line of sight with the drone, meaning operators located in the control room can easily manage and monitor pre-scheduled fully autonomous drone missions. This improves the speed of the drone inspections and enables Delek to remain flexible with drone operations, as they do not need to hire a specific technician to operate the drone.
“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 US FAA regulations,” said Delek senior vice president of business transformation Grigor Bambekov.
“By working in partnership with Percepto, Delek US is gaining more effective, efficient, reliable, and profitable utilization of its assets through the next generation of Industry 4.0 drone ecosystems.”
One of Israel’s largest companies, Delek’s critical infrastructure projects in Israel include water desalination plants, energy investments and power plants. Percepto, whose BVLOS AI was listed in TIME magazine’s 100 Best Inventions of 2021, has previously worked with international companies, such as Florida Power and Light, Koch Industries and Verizon.
“This approval to use autonomous drone technology is a huge step forward towards cleaner and safer refineries within the oil and gas industry,” said Percepto CEO Dor Abuhasira.
“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.”