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Drones to Change Search Process for Gas Field Challenges?

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that “a helicopter equipped with magnetic sensors flew over three plots of Pennsylvania state lands hunting for signs of forgotten oil and gas wells last summer at a cost of about $2,000 an hour.”  

“Meanwhile, a promising tool that had potential to be part of the research mission was parked in Pittsburgh: an unmanned six-foot-long helicopter that can fly for an hour and a half on $3 worth of gas.”  

“The drone, owned by the National Energy Technology Laboratory, is grounded while its owners wait for someone clever to develop a magnetic sensor just as sensitive as the full-sized helicopter’s, but still small, light and energy-efficient enough to fit on the remote-controlled machine without hindering its flight.”  

“When the technology catches up, drones equipped with advanced sensors might change the costly and onerous project of searching by air for abandoned gas field hazards into a routine part of business.”

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