Giving the rotorcraft industry an alternative Aerial Perspective
New developments in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) technology are helping to kick-start a revolution for offshore oil and gas inspection, data collection, asset management and vertical inspection operations.
While in the past, the inspection of offshore vertical infrastructures, pre-inspection and replacement work has been carried out by humans via roped access, which is both dangerous, and can often lead to error in data collection, times are starting to change. And quickly.
UAV technology has the potential to disrupt traditional operations in this marketplace and move the industry away from time based inspection to risk based inspections, making it faster and more efficient as they can run without disturbing day-to-day running.
While it might sound like something of the future, as technology continues to progress, further developments of Industry Standards and regulatory change will usher in the era of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT). This is likely to lead our industry toward total digital asset management, Inspection Artificial Intelligence and even Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) solutions, allowing for ultimate ease of data collection, essentially making humans jobs considerably easier.
SAR missions are also an arena in which UAVs are playing an increasingly important role. While helicopters will always play an invaluable role in rescuing people, their deployment can take time and may be hindered by adverse weather conditions. Devices that can be put to work immediately or maintain persistence, will be able to provide early stage aerial support, enabling crews to remotely monitor footage and make better informed decisions on whether to pursue the operation.
As the UAV industry continues to develop and impact rotorcraft operations, Helitech International provides a crucial platform for our industry to meet, network and discuss future strategies. I’m excited to speak as part of the Insight Seminar programme session on Wednesday 12 October from 1400-1600 and looking forward to seeing you at the show!
Nick Rogers, Co-founder and Chief Regulatory Training Officer at Sky-Futures Partners Ltd