Cyberhawk was tasked by leading offshore wind turbine manufacturer, Siemens Gamesa, to carry out close visual inspections of an offshore wind farm in September 2017. Cyberhawk was chosen due to our framework agreement with the company, as well as our previous experience in successfully inspecting offshore structure and high-quality imagery captured.
The brief included the close visual inspection of 27 turbines, capturing a complete visual record of the leading edge, training edge, pressure and suction sides of each blade.
Traditionally, the inspections would have been carried out using rope access technicians, however this technique would have significantly increased man hours on site and involves working at height.
Cyberhawk mobilised a two-man team to undertake the UAV inspections, completing the entire turbine inspection in a handful of days. The use of UAVs mitigated the risks of working at height and meant reduced downtime and lost production for the client.
For this project, Cyberhawk developed a tailored app to meet Siemens requirements. The requirement was a 25% overlap between images and no missing areas of the blade with processing and uploading on the same day as the inspection.
Challenges involved high wind speeds and limited space to land the UAV. However, the experienced pilot and inspection engineer managed to gather all the data in the time agreed by using weather windows.
Multiple defects were quickly identified, and the client managed to plan required maintenance effectively and at lower costs.