Experimental Investigation of EMC Weaknesses in UAVs During Overhead Power Line Inspection

Martin Skriver, Anders Stengaard, Ulrik Pagh Schultz, Emad Ebeid

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In the experiment for this paper we test a methodology for measuring interference in communication signals between a flight controller and peripheral devices of a UAV during a flight operation where the UAV is interacting with a 400 kV power line. Maintenance and inspection of power lines are vital for delivering energy supporting our modern society and it is an active research subject to explore autonomous systems as an alternative to the manual maintenance operations as these are both costly and dangerous. Supported by multiple research papers we believe that UAVs will be used for autonomous power line inspection in the future. Thus it is important to design them robust and tolerant of the electromagnetic harsh environment they are operating in and as traditional EMC measures such as heavy shielding and connectors counteract the UAVs payload capability and battery life, an EMC software solution can improve the robustness of the UAV. We have performed multiple experiments where the UAV is in contact with the 400 kV power line without any notable faults for the UAV operator. In this work, we expanded our Hardware-based EMI Injection for Software Testing (HEIST) methodology to be able to monitor multiple signals simultaneously, we recorded and detected continuous interference in the data signals as the UAV approached the power line. The interference can cause data corruption and needs to be handled safely e.g. by software, as these potentially cause the UAV to crash. The recorded data can with the HEIST approach be used to simulate the harsh environment in field tests by injecting the logic-level disturbances into the flight controller while the UAV is flying and thereby test if the system is fault-tolerant against the interference caused by the actual power line.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2022 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS)
Publication date2022
ISBN (Electronic)9781665405935
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event2022 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, ICUAS 2022 - Dubrovnik, Croatia
Duration: 21. Jun 202224. Jun 2022


Conference2022 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, ICUAS 2022
SeriesProceedings of International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems


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