A Livingston-based drone aircraft operator has launched a new ROV-A (remotely-operated aircraft vehicle) service after completing its first such inspection of a cargo oil-tanker on an operating floating platform support ship.
Cyberhawk Innovations carried out this drone inspection aboard the Gryphon FPSO, owned and operated by Maersk Oil in the UK North Sea.
Like all such operators, Maersk has requirements to visually inspect cargo tanks for integrity, damage assessment and class certification.
This type of inspection is usually conducted by RATs – rope access technicians – who are suspended on ropes to inspect the tank structure, focusing on areas of high stress such as stiffeners, brackets, bracing, webs and stringers.
One of Maersk Oil’s main aims was to reduce the human risk from working at height and/or in confined spaces. Inspecting the tank with the ROV-a drone allowed Maersk Oil to undertake a quick and safe audit of the tank, in turn allowing them to identify and more efficiently plan for any possible contact based inspections in both this and other tanks.
Cyberhawk mobilised an experienced two-man ROV-a crea, consisting of an ROAV pilot and inspection engineer. The inspection was completed within 24-hours, in comparison with rope access which would usually take between 3 to 4 days for the same works.