Drone Support for Autonomous Power Line Inspections

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Sealevel partners with a company that develops AI-driven software to equip smart drones specifically for utilities. One of their software solutions enables drones to complete autonomous power line inspections and monitor power grids. This eliminates the need for traditional helicopter inspections resulting in improved safety and efficiency. A secondary benefit is the reduction of carbon emissions.

Within the drone architecture, multiple USB peripherals interface to contribute to the complete solution. However, due to intense vibration on the drones, the company experienced repeated USB hub failures largely as a result of loose connections.

In order to ensure reliable, consistent operation, the company required an embedded USB hub with locking connectors.

The Solution

The company evaluated a variety of industrial USB hubs and ultimately selected Sealevel’s Embedded High Speed 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub (HUB4PH-OEM). This embedded hub’s rugged design and locking Molex USB connectors eliminate the vibration tolerance concerns that had been a factor with previous designs. As with all Sealevel products, 100% of the functionality is tested prior to shipment to the customer, guaranteeing reliable performance in the field.

The Result

Sealevel’s reputation for reliable critical communications hardware initially attracted the customer while our experience with designing shock & vibration tolerant solutions allowed us to meet their specific requirements.

Embedded High Speed 4-Port USB 2.0 HubEmbedded High Speed 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub with Battery Charging Downstream Ports

  • Powered USB 2.0 hub provides four USB CDP ports
  • Four Charging Downstream Ports (CDP) supply up to 1.5A to each connected device
  • Locking Molex USB connectors
  • All CDP are battery charging specification BC1.2 compliant
  • Supports high-speed 480M bps, full-speed 12M bps and low-speed 1.5M bps operation