Page 23: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (July 2016)
Marine Communications Edition
are time-consuming and expensive, with including hull tank inspections in con- for faster gathering of information to de- reach nearly $6 billion by 2024.” barges costing at least $1,000. The real- ? ned spaces. tect and quantify discharges or spills in ity is that resupplying a vessel is a com- To illustrate, over the past few years an effort to mitigate environmental im- Shipyard Inspections and mon occurrence, and in some cases, sup- several companies have already con- pact in times of disaster. Class Society Surveys plies are needed when the vessel is still ducted numerous operational tests in the Besides oil and gas exploration, UAS Keeping pace with other maritime sec- far out to sea or with a next port of call offshore energy sector. For example, in are being tested in inspections of off- tors, overseas shipbuilders are employ- yet undetermined. January 2016, a UK-based ? rm report- shore wind turbines in efforts to both ing UAS technology during various con-
Owners and operators are limited in edly conducted a UAS inspection in the decrease the economic losses caused struction and inspection stages in efforts available options for urgent deliveries to Gulf of Mexico aboard a drillship. The during lengthy turbine inspection down- to save time and money and increase ef- vessels, but those limitations are dissi- UAS completed the inspection of the times and enhance safety for technicians ? ciency. Last year, Poland’s Remontowa pating. In January 2016, a UAS operated derrick, a heli-deck, and four cranes in typically required to climb on the blades Shiprepair Yard began ? ying a UAS to by A.P. Moller Maersk A/S successfully two days, more than two weeks shorter for repair or to complete an inspection. inspect internal spaces of chemical and completed an at-sea delivery of a small than estimates of what would have been As a market, the cumulative global rev- product tankers. During the overhaul, package to a tanker through the use of required under current inspection op- enue for UAS sales and inspection ser- the UAS accessed the cargo tanks to pro- an aerial UAS. Maersk conducted this tions. And, UAS can foreseeably be used vices “for wind turbine is expected to vide a general assessment of the condi-
UAS test over a relatively short distance of 247 meters, and the package con- tained Danish butter cookies weighing a little less than three pounds.
Even though the ? ight distance in this case was somewhat short, industry should be optimistic that as technology advances, future deliveries could involve longer ? ight distances, heavier payloads, and a wider variety of uses. As UAS in-
CLASSIFICATION tegrate into the maritime sector’s supply
DNV GL conducts chain, companies may provide savings drone inspection of ship tanks of thousands of dollars per vessel each year on small yet essential vessel deliv- eries In other words, a UAS effectively limits or alleviates the need to pay to hire a boat, crew, and fuel to make deliveries, and also increases safety in dangerous sea conditions as the human element is reduced in the at-sea transfer. Also, the advantages with the use of UAS in ship- ping extend beyond delivery of supplies to all types of vessels. Other proposed uses could include inspections of tanks aboard tank and cargo vessels, and lash- ing aboard cargo or container ships. In some cases, UAS may become valuable surveillance tools that enhance vessel safety in ice navigation and surveillance in anti-piracy measures.
Offshore Energy—Oil, Gas, and Wind
Besides resupplying vessels, compa- nies are increasingly utilizing UAS in the energy sector in performing inspec- tion work. Experts suggest that UAS are capable of operating in some the most challenging environments in the off- shore industry, and could be used to meet requirements before oil and gas explora- tion is approved, such as those related to surveys of ice and marine life. UAS can survey and identify elements of a rig or vessel for leaks, damage to piping, structural defects, or other irregularities in locations that are dif? cult to access or dangerous for human intervention, such as offshore risers, ? are stacks, and undersides of offshore structures. Also,
UAS could assist in complicated inspec- tion and survey work in circumstances in which a class survey may be required, (Photo: DNV GL) www.marinelink.com 23
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