NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a novel system that uses an ultraviolet camera to detect, inspect, and analyze a corona discharge. This discharge signifies a power line fault, making the technology ideal for use in power line inspections. When coupled to a drone, the technology offers the ability to remotely monitor power lines in a cost-effective way. Adding GPS technology results in precise location of power line faults.

This technology is useful for a number of potential applications, most notably power line fault detection. The most novel feature is that it uses UV instead of IR, which has been problematic for corona discharge detection because there is too much interference from other sources. Ultraviolet detection offers images that isolate the location of the corona discharge with far greater precision.

NASA is actively seeking licensees to commercialize this technology. Please contact The Technology Gateway at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to initiate licensing discussions. Follow this link here  for more information.


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This article first appeared in the August, 2020 issue of Tech Briefs Magazine.

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