Press Releases

April 7, 2017

U.S. Senator Mark Warner joins Virginia Tech and Local Companies for Demonstration of Innovative Satellite and UAS Capabilities

Ligado Networks, Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, Dominion Virginia Power and AeroVironment use cutting-edge satellite-terrestrial technology to simulate beyond line-of-sight operation of a commercial unmanned aircraft system (UAS)

Reston, Va., April 7, 2017 – On Wednesday, April 12, U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner will join Ligado Networks, the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP), Dominion Virginia Power, and AeroVironment for a simulated beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) inspection of high voltage power lines. BVLOS UAS operations is one of many real-life applications of cutting-edge technologies expected to increase the safety and reliability of America’s energy sector via Ligado’s one-of-a-kind advanced network specifically designed to enhance mission-critical Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications.

The upcoming test in Buckingham County, Virginia will demonstrate the application of an AeroVironment Puma AE UAS to inspect Dominion Virginia Power’s high voltage power lines at distances up to 20 kilometers away from the operators. The demonstration will also collect data on the reliability, availability, continuity, and integrity of data links with Ligado’s powerful SkyTerra 1 satellite system. Ligado intends to deploy an advanced satellite and ground-based network, offering unprecedented performance for the emerging 5G and IIoT markets. The successful use of satellite-based command-and-control over long distances would remove line of sight range limitations on emerging commercial applications of UAS.


Mark R. Warner, U.S. Senator
Tamara Casey, Chief Technology Officer, Ligado Networks
Mark Blanks, Director, Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership
Steve Eisenrauch, Manager of Transmission Line Services, Dominion Virginia Power


Simulated beyond visual line-of-sight demonstration and inspection of high voltage power lines


Wednesday, April 12, 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET


Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership
1168 Physic Spring Dr.
Dillwyn, VA 23936


Media interested in attending the event should follow up by notifying Dan Cruz and Eleanor Nelsen via the following emails: and

In order to be escorted to the test site, media should arrive no later than 12:30 p.m. Please note ankle-supporting boots and long pants are required to be worn by all persons on-site, including media; no exceptions. Other required safety gear including hard hats, safety glasses and high-visibility safety vests will be provided.