CYBERHAWK SUPPORTS ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANT WITH DRONE BASED RAIL SURVEYS

Sector
Land & Rail
Region
Europe

Cyberhawk was recently selected to complete two railway surveys in the north of Scotland, near Inverness, using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). With the two routes stretching across 15km, the survey was required to gain an initial understanding and gather an up-to-date record of the various trackside habitats such as salt marsh, coastal areas, forests, farmlands and open water in order to identify potential ecological constraints.

Using UAVs for this project meant that a much greater area could be covered in the constrained time than traditional methods. Aerial images provide a useful means of assessing and characterising habitat types according to recognised JNCC Phase 1 Habitat Survey classes. In certain situations it may be possible to identify the boundaries of vegetation stands, and whilst drones provide a means of collecting data efficiently over an extensive area, they are also useful when surveying sites where access on foot is difficult, e.g. bogs, watercourses, cliffs, intertidal habitats.

Cyberhawk was contracted to complete this survey on behalf of Ecus Environmental Consultants. Typically, this job would be completed by ecologists on foot, however due to project specific challenges and restricted timeframes Ecus decided to look at a more innovative approach to overcome the problems.

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Cyberhawk completed the 15km route in under one week and delivered an orthophoto image to 1.5cm resolution. This data provided the ecologists at Ecus with a detailed overview of the types of habitats located along the route, and what types of protected species to look out for during further investigations. The aerial data can also be referred back to if future site works are carried out and changes to the surrounding habitats need to be monitored. Cyberhawk was selected for this project as they are one of the few UAV service providers on the Network Rail Framework therefore able to fly over Network Rail assets.

CYBERHAWK COMPLETES FIRST PROJECT IN TURKEY

Cyberhawk recently completed its first project in Turkey after being selected by a major wind farm operator to inspect a number of turbines across two wind farms. 


CYBERHAWK COMPLETES FIRST PROJECT IN TURKEY

Sector
Power Generation
Region
Europe

Our two man team, which comprised an industry qualified inspection engineer and an experienced turbine UAV pilot, mobilised to inspect 23 of the oldest turbines in the fleet to determine the levels of damage and asset integrity. Turbines in these particular sites require regular inspection as the region is subject to frequent storms and lightning strikes, therefore up-to-date condition assessments are crucial.

During the limited time that the turbines were taken out of operation, competent technicians (CT) were able to access the nacelle and hub while the drone inspections were being carried out. This allowed the CTs to make effective use of the turbine downtime to conduct required checks and other minor works. The advantages of using a drone for this inspection campaign include: Lower risk than traditional rope access inspection – avoiding the need to climb up and down the turbines whilst attached to ropes, and extended periods of working at height Non-contact – using an experienced drone pilot meant any potential contact with the blades was avoided, therefore removing the risk of damage Less downtime – the speed of inspection meant that turbine downtime was minimised, and the full inspection campaign could be completed quicker than using rope access.

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Back in the UK, our inspection reporting team worked methodically through the visual inspection data to create detailed engineering reports for the client. Any priority areas were flagged up to the client while the reporting was taking place, so that repair works could be planned and targeted correctly.

Reports on all 23 turbines, blades and towers were delivered via iHawk, our cloud-based asset management software, which allows clients to view assets on a map-based interface, identify the severity of any damage or integrity problems using a traffic light colour coded system and drill down into detailed visual inspection imagery, which can be used to improve decision-making and maintenance planning.

DECOMMISSIONING ASSET INSPECTION FOR KINSALE ENERGY IN IRELAND

Cyberhawk, the global leader in visual asset management using drone collected data, has completed its first offshore oil and gas work in Ireland for Kinsale Energy.


DECOMMISSIONING ASSET INSPECTION FOR KINSALE ENERGY IN IRELAND

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

Kinsale Energy, previously Marathon Oil Ireland (MOIL), has been operating gas fields off the County Cork coast since 1978. The gas wells in the Kinsale Area have been producing for 40 years and it is anticipated they will reach the end of their productive life by 2020/21, when the gas reserves will have been depleted. At this point, decommissioning activity is expected to begin, which will see the wells permanently plugged and associated facilities, including two offshore platforms and the onshore Inch Terminal, decommissioned.

Multiple difficult to access inspection work scopes were completed on the platforms, such as the underdeck, risers and conductors and splash zone. Platform underdecks are traditionally a difficult area to inspect; access by rope access or scaffolding can be challenging and it can take several weeks to conduct the inspections, incurring high costs and requiring technicians to work at height for extended periods of time.

Ahead of the decommissioning campaign, Kinsale Energy selected Cyberhawk to conduct condition assessments of two platforms, plus an onshore communications tower, using drones.

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Drone technology has presented a viable solution to these challenges. A highly skilled pilot can overcome the lack of GPS underneath the platform and fly fully manually to complete inspections which are quicker, safer and cost-effective.

The Cyberhawk team of two, an experienced offshore pilot and an industry trained inspection engineer, were flown to the first platform then transferred to the standby vessel to conduct a full underdeck inspection of the second (unmanned) platform. Following this, the Cyberhawk team then returned to shore to inspect a communication tower at the Inch Gas Terminal.

As well as the integrity assessments, our team also captured data which allowed a 3D point cloud model of the platform to be generated. This provided Kinsale Energy with a detailed, dimensionally accurate 360 degree view of the asset which meant the operator could plan decommissioning activity using contextualised, up-to-date visual information.

Chris Fleming, CEO at Cyberhawk said: “The benefits of drone technology for decommissioning are becoming widely recognised and we’re pleased to have completed this project, a first for offshore oil and gas in Ireland, for Kinsale Energy.

“As well as conducting integrity assessments ahead of decommissioning, it’s been hugely encouraging to see clients maximise our time on their platforms to capture data which gives them a previously unseen view of their asset. This information is being used in various ways, to support contract tendering , planning and scheduling, and also provides onshore staff with an understanding of the asset that they may not previously have benefitted from.

“We continue to invest in the development of our digital and asset visualisation solutions, which have become a major part of our drone inspection and survey business, allowing clients to use the data collected in various work streams.”

CYBERHAWK COMPLETES DRONE UNDERDECK INSPECTION IN NORWEGIAN NORTH SEA

A Cyberhawk team recently completed a challenging ‘multiscope’ drone inspection at a platform belonging to a supermajor in the Norwegian North Sea.


CYBERHAWK COMPLETES DRONE UNDERDECK INSPECTION IN NORWEGIAN NORTH SEA

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

Our experienced offshore drone pilot and industry qualified oil and gas inspection engineer were deployed to inspect the platform’s flare tip, flare deck, flare tower, underdeck and produced water caisson.

Inspection of underdecks is often a complex job. The traditional methods of access would be to use scaffolding or rope access technicians. Erecting and dismantling scaffolding of an underdeck area of this size would be extremely costly, potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds, making this technique unjustifiably expensive when other solutions exist. It would take many weeks to complete the full inspection scope.

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The more likely alternative inspection technique would be to use rope access. This method presents a lower-cost solution and would take around two weeks to complete a scope of this scale.

Using a drone, however, brings even more efficiency to the inspection process. This underdeck inspection was completed within just one day, representing a dramatic time and cost-saving. The drone pilot is also able to obtain standoff shots of the underdeck, an angle that would not be obtainable from these alternative inspection techniques.

Rope access also presents an increased risk to safety, involving hanging from the platform attached by ropes, and extended periods of working at height.

The client opted to use drones to conduct this inspection to gain safe, efficient access to this complex area and ascertain a complete view from standoff shots to the imagery of focal areas.

Whilst the application of drone inspection is becoming more widely understood and embraced, a platform underdeck is one area that many believe is inaccessible by a drone. This is undoubtedly a challenging area to inspect, where pilots are met with no GPS, potential magnetic interference and complex structures to navigate around. In many cases, this results in the pilot hovering the drone at the edge of the platform and pointing the camera upwards. The implication of this is low-quality data, which does not give a close enough view of any potential defects and therefore cannot support decision-making.

A full underdeck inspection can, however, be undertaken by an experienced pilot who has the ability to fly completely manually, which Cyberhawk has once again proven in this case. Check out our video to see our team in action on this underdeck inspection.

The client was pleased with the results and continues to work with Cyberhawk to explore new applications for drone inspection on its assets.


TRANSMISSION AND SUBSTATION DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT SOLUTION FOR SSEN

Sector
Power Grid
Region
Europe

As part of our framework with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), Cyberhawk provides inspection and digital asset management solutions for the SSEN transmission overhead line and substation network in Scotland. In addition to our highly skilled pilots and detailed engineering knowledge, Cyberhawk was selected by SSEN because of our pioneering asset management software, iHawk. This began life in 2012 as a cloud-based visual asset management solution, focused on tranmission lines. Over the last six years, iHawk has been significantly developed to encompass additional functionality such as the generation and execution of maintenance work orders, assisting in the management of electricity, safety, quality and continuity regulations (ESQCR) and the asset management of substations. The software has also been further developed and can now be used with tablets in the field, as well as from a desk.

Provision of ruggedized tablet computers, with software for SSEN lines persons to complete the following: Ground or climbing condition inspections; ESQCR inspections; Repair and maintenance work orders;

The scope SSEN high-voltage transmission network (132kV – 400kV) includes more than 11,000 towers and 120 substation sites. Within SSEN, Cyberhawk’s services include: Detailed UAV tower inspections each year

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Provision of ruggedized tablet computers, with software for SSEN fitters to complete the following at substations:

Asset specific condition inspections
ESQCR inspections
Site security inspection
Oil risk inspections
Repair and maintenance work orders
Provision of a cloud based visual asset management system, iHawk, which:

Hosts all new inspection information from UAVs, lines persons and fitters
Hosts legacy inspection information from historic sources such as spreadsheets and helicopter patrols
Allows inspection information to be queried, and the generation of repair and maintenance works orders
Hosts ESQCR data allowing identification of high risk sites
Provides ability to find the tower location using distance to fault information
Provides analytic network data

UAV tower inspection

Our inspection solution involves a two-man team, consisting of a pilot and an industry-qualified engineer, mobilizing on-site to capture the visual data required using a UAV. Whilst the pilot is flying, the engineer views what the UAV sees on a separate screen in real-time, to ensure the required data is being captured.

The benefits of using UAVs for transmission inspection include:

Significant cost reductions, thanks to the speed of inspection and reduced downtime
Reduced safety risks, by removing the need to work at height, near live lines or in generally hazardous areas
The ability to quickly gain a huge volume of highly detailed imagery
Engineers reporting to an agreed defect standard, meaning one centralized, consistent approach

Data capture in the field

Not all inspections on SSEN networks are completed by UAVs. Every year, SSEN lines persons also complete condition assessments on towers by ground patrols and climbing inspections, and ESQCR inspections. At SSEN substations, fitters also complete condition assessments, site risk inspections and ESQCR inspections.

To ensure these inspections are completed to a high standard and data is captured consistently with photographic evidence to show each defect, Cyberhawk developed iHawk, software to be used on ruggedized tablets in the field by SSEN’s lines persons and fitters.

The software is intuitive, easy to use and has been created specifically to deal with outdoor condition inspections in the field.

All data is captured in the same format, hosted on the iHawk cloud viewer and used to generate repair and maintenance work orders. These work orders are in turn sent to tablet computers in the field for completion. Once SSEN lines persons have executed the work, images are taken of the repaired component and uploaded back into iHawk for manager approval, maintaining an up-to-date asset condition database. This technology creates ‘one source of truth’, meaning that lines persons in the field are seeing exactly the same data as an asset manager back in an office.

iHawk in action

The key advantage of iHawk is its ability to convert a huge volume of data into powerful and easy to navigate management information, for improved decision-making and decision justification.

Displaying the data on iHawk also gives an at-a-glance view of the asset portfolio, using a map-based interface to highlight location, and colour coded reporting matrix to highlight defect status. This helps simplify the asset management process, allowing managers to focus on operational work.

Additionally, the data captured using iHawk and iSim (our software development specifically for substation asset management) will be integrated into a new asset management system being deployed with in SSEN.

Ian Gray, Head of Transmission Operations and Maintenance at SSEN said: “SSEN has been working with Cyberhawk since 2009, and our confidence in the team’s ability continues to grow. Not only are the experienced pilots able to safely and efficiently capture an extremely intricate level of detail, but the addition of iHawk means we have fit-for-purpose, intuitive asset management software. We regularly refer to the data contained in iHawk to make decisions and develop maintenance schedules.”

Check out the gallery below to see a few examples of iHawk in action.


INSPECTION OF ELEVATED VENT SILENCERS FOR MAJOR GAS MANUFACTURER

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

The main focus of the inspection was to identify possible defects and/or debris through the vents and any damage or obstructions to the support structures.

A two-man team from Cyberhawk (a highly trained UAV Pilot and an experienced Inspection Engineer) visited the site to undertake the inspection of the elevated steel vent silencers in areas such as warehouses.

The full inspection was successfully completed in just one day, with detailed engineering inspection reports following shortly afterwards.

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The usual means of access for this type of inspection would be to use a cherry picker. An inspection using this method, however, could take two weeks to complete and involves extended periods of working at height, which is a contributor to one of the biggest causes of injuries and fatalities at work – falls from height.

DETAILED EXAMINATION OF ROYAL BORDER BRIDGE

As a Network Rail framework holder, Cyberhawk recently completed a detailed examination viaduct inspection campaign which included an inspection of the iconic Royal Border Bridge.


DETAILED EXAMINATION OF ROYAL BORDER BRIDGE

Sector
Land & Rail
Region
Europe

Using our UAV inspection solution, which has been tailored specifically for viaducts, our team was able to conduct a safe, quick and cost-effective inspection, providing detailed engineering quality images to allow defect analysis, as well as orthophotos and 3D point cloud models. For a project of this scale and complexity, we mobilised a team of two – a highly trained UAV pilot and an experienced inspection engineer. Limited flying positions and a lack of GPS signal underneath the soffits also meant a highly experienced team was needed. It took less than two weeks for us to conduct the inspection using drones – half the time that traditional access methods, such as rope access, would take. UAV inspection also proved to be inherently safer as no working at height, track side or through the night was required. Furthermore, by eliminating the need for track possessions, there was no disruption to scheduling.

Royal Border Bridge, a Grade I listed railway viaduct, spans the River Tweed in Northumberland, England and was built between 1847 and 1850. The bridge is 659 metres (2,162 ft) long and has 28 arches, each of which span 18 metres (60 ft).

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Importantly, the quality of the resulting visual data was far better than what had been obtained previously. Network Rail sought extremely high quality, detailed data which would be used in a variety of formats and for different purposes, and wanted this data collected in a single mobilisation.

When collecting data using traditional methods of inspection, views can be limited to where the technician can see and reach. As well as our high definition images, which delivered a 360 degree view showing all defects, we also provided Network Rail with 2D elevations, 3D models and cloud point surveys. This avoided the need for a separate dimensional survey.

The inspection was deemed a great success and Network Rail is already looking at how to integrate UAVs into its inspection procedures in the future.

HOW MUCH DETAIL CAN A DRONE REALLY CAPTURE?

Drone V ground camera for wind turbine blade inspection


HOW MUCH DETAIL CAN A DRONE REALLY CAPTURE?

Sector
Power Generation
Service
iHawk
Region
Europe

Many wind turbine owners, operators and OEMs new to the world of UAV inspection are dubious about the accuracy and quality of data that can be achieved through this solution. We could tell you all about how we can size defects down to +/- 5mm accuracy, or position the defects to a few centimetres from the root and leading edge, but we thought a real-life example would be more interesting….

The interesting part, however, is that our UAV inspection identified a crack on the trailing edge of one blade which the inspection using a ground camera failed to pick up. Trailing edge cracks can be difficult to see and if not detected and monitored from an early stage, can become progressively worse, leading to structural damage and costly repairs.

In a recent project for a major OEM, Cyberhawk was tasked with inspecting blades at an onshore wind farm in the UK. The OEM was keen to compare our drone captured data to that from their traditional ground camera solution. Despite 25 knot (12.8m/s) wind speeds, our team mobilised to site and conducted the inspection in just a few minutes.

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This example proves an important point. It demonstrated that an experienced UAV inspection team can not only match the quality of traditional inspection methods, but can actually identify defects which may not previously have been picked up – without requiring technicians to work at height.

CYBERHAWK CONDUCTS FIRST INSPECTION IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

As part of a client’s ongoing fabric maintenance campaign, Cyberhawk was appointed to conduct a detailed inspection of four offshore vents and two onshore flares.


CYBERHAWK CONDUCTS GENSIP COMPLIANT INSPECTION OF THERMAL POWER STATION

Sector
Power Generation
Region
Europe

Like many other thermal power operators, it conducts these inspections to the GENSIP Roofing & Cladding standard. This categorises the condition of area such as wall classing, patent glazing, curtain walling and roof decks. The standard looks to identify if these areas are intact or cracked, bent, corroded, broken, rotten or missing. The inspection findings must also be prioritised by severity of the defect to allow effective maintenance planning. For instance, does the defect present a remote risk, a possible risk, or a potentially hazardous event occurring in the next year, next few years or next 10 years.

The client approached Cyberhawk as it was looking for an alternative, non-intrusive inspection technique which could examine the building’s cladding and roofing and identify areas of corrosion, damage and potential detachment. This inspection was to meet the criteria set out by the GENSIP standard. Cyberhawk mobilised a UAV pilot and inspection engineer to site, who took just one day to conduct inspections of the external roof area and specific sections on the internal roof structure.

This type of inspection would traditionally be undertaken using a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP). The use of MEWPs requires close risk management, however; the HSE states that risks include entrapment, overturning, falling and collision.

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Upon review of the GENSIP reporting template, Cyberhawk recommended using our internally developed reporting standard as this exceeded the requirements set out by GENSIP, which the client agreed to. The report provided highlighted the location of defects and areas which required further tactile inspection and/or maintenance.

This project not only highlighted Cyberhawk’s ability to quickly and safely collect inspection data using UAVs, but also demonstrated the quality of our reporting by exceeding an existing industry standard.

OVER 350 RISERS ON 63 OFFSHORE PLATFORMS INSPECTED IN A MONTH FOR DUBAI PETROLEUM USING UAVS

As part of a framework agreement with major oil and gas operator Dubai Petroleum, Cyberhawk was appointed to inspect more than 350 risers on 63 offshore platforms. The inspection took only one month to complete, followed by the production of over 90 detailed engineering inspection reports. 


REGULAR INSPECTION OF A STEAM LEAK ON ELEVATED FLARE STACK

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

The perforation’s size had increased over the first few inspections with a riser split causing the steel pipe to hang from the side of the flare. Cyberhawk has been asked to closely monitor the damage and report back any further degradation of the brackets that hold the steam riser in place, with the intent to defer costly maintenance until a planned shutdown.

The area around the flare is a no go area, so use of scaffolding or rope access is not possible and would require shutdown. Thanks to a CVI (Close Visual Inspection) with a drone, Cyberhawk can provide a full inspection report to advise on the condition of the structure and assist in predicting the damage development.

An experienced team of two from Cyberhawk, including a flare inspection engineer and qualified inspection pilot, is mobilised each month to undertake the work.

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By providing quicker inspection times, reduced cost of inspection and avoidance of unplanned shutdowns, Cyberhawk’s UAV solution has once again proven its worth in the petrochemical sector.

VIADUCT INSPECTION FOR NETWORK RAIL USING DRONES

Cyberhawk was approached by Network Rail to conduct an “inspection for assessment” on a number of brick viaducts in the UK.


VIADUCT INSPECTION FOR NETWORK RAIL USING DRONES

Sector
Land & Rail
Region
Europe

As a Network Rail framework holder, Cyberhawk’s procedures have already been vetted and approved and teamed with our highly skilled pilots and experienced engineers, we emerged as the preferred provider for this difficult work scope. UAVs were selected to avoid the risks of personnel working at height. However, because the viaducts are can interfere with GPS signal received by the drone, it meant experienced pilots who could fly fully manually were required. This new type of project, which had never before been attempted by Network Rail, required navigating the UAV around structure with limited flying positions and no GPS signal underneath the soffits. Each inspection was carried out by a two-man team and Cyberhawk examined the condition of the entire viaduct in a few days.

Cyberhawk was asked to provide an inspection report confirming defects from the most recent detailed examination and identifying any new defects, along with an orthophoto and 3D point-cloud model of the viaducts. This information was then used to confirm the viaducts’ dimensional accurately and to complete a structural assessment.

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UAV data collection reduces – and often removes – the need for track possessions, resulting in reduced track side work. Also, UAVs don’t require people working at height or during the night, contributing to the overall safety of staff.

Usually this type of inspection would involve traditional rope access methods, requiring a track possession at night and therefore taking significantly longer to complete. Following a UAV survey, it may still be necessary to undertake some targeted inspection work using traditional tactile methods, but only when really necessary in order to examine any severe defects identified. This dramatically improves the overall efficiency of the project.

Using Cyberhawk to complete the work scope, compared with traditional inspection and survey methods, saved the client a significant amount of time and money and produced much higher quality imagery and reporting in contrast with previous inspections. Furthermore, there was no disruption to schedules and importantly, safety risks were minimised due to removing the need to work at height.

WORLD FIRST ASME CODE INSPECTION AT A US NUCLEAR PLANT

In a world first for the nuclear sector, Cyberhawk inspected two of American Electric Power’s (AEP) concrete PWR containment domes at the Cook Nuclear Plant, located along Lake Michigan’s eastern shoreline.


CLYDE WINDFARM INSPECTION FOR SIEMENS GAMESA

Sector
Power Generation
Region
Europe

The work included close visual inspections of the leading edge, training edge, pressure and suction sides of each blade, capturing a complete visual record of each blade.

Cyberhawk mobilised a two-man team to undertake the UAV inspections. Traditionally, the inspections would have been carried out using rope access technicians, however this technique would have doubled man hours on site and involves working at height. Building on other recently completed inspections for Siemens Gamesa, Cyberhawk developed a tailored app to meet the client’s 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.

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The use of UAVs mitigated the risks of working at height and reduced downtime, meaning lost production was minimised for the client. Siemens Gamesa also reported a high level of image quality providing confidence in inspection results.

OFFSHORE WIND FARM INSPECTION FOR SIEMENS GAMESA

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.


OFFSHORE WIND FARM INSPECTION FOR SIEMENS GAMESA

Sector
Power Generation
Region
Europe

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 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.

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.

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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.

CABLE ROUTE SURVEY AT A COASTAL EROSION SITE USING UAVS

Cyberhawk conducted an aerial survey of a coastal erosion site covering over 700m on the East coast of England.


CABLE ROUTE SURVEY AT A COASTAL EROSION SITE USING UAVS

Sector
Land & Rail
Service
iHawk
Region
Europe

The project, completed in one day, saw Cyberhawk provide an orthophoto, 3D point cloud and oblique images of the site to aid the distribution network operator (DNO) identify exposed underground cables or areas where cables could become exposed in the future. UAVs were selected for this project, as traditional survey methods, including ground based total stations or laser scanning, would have involved working close to the cliff and would take a long time to complete. Cyberhawk were chosen to conduct this work scope thanks to our extensive experience of working in challenging coastal environments.

The team utilised a multirotor UAV to complete this work. This platform provided flexibility in acquiring imagery for generating a topographic model and also oblique and panoramic images. Our experienced team of surveyors delivered the project successfully and on time, with the client reporting significant cost savings.

Due to the survey’s location, the main challenges on site were high winds, wet weather. The project was also affected by the tide; so keeping to strict deadlines and timescales was paramount.

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Our client provided existing CAD drawings of the known underground cable positions. These were overlaid on our orthophoto imagery providing additional information about potential future issues due to erosion on the coastline.

The survey data was provided electronically and also via our secure online portal.

OFFSHORE DRONE INSPECTION IN ITALY

Cyberhawk was approached by an offshore gas operator in Italy to complete UAV structural inspections of its assets.


OFFSHORE DRONE INSPECTION IN ITALY

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Service
Drone Data Collection
Region
Europe

As a first step, Cyberhawk also had to obtain a permit for aerial work from the Italian Aviation Authority (ENAC) and attend a two-day course in Italy prior to mobilising offshore. Our pilots were the first to complete a conversion course to work in Italy after already holding a valid permit for aerial work in another country.

In order to fully maximise the mobilisation, this work scope saw Cyberhawk inspect multiple elements including the flare, flare boom, support structure, splash zone and mooring dolphins. Using UAVs for the inspection was deemed the safest and most efficient method and Cyberhawk was recommended due to its previous inspection record for all the major the oil and gas operators.

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Traditionally, rope access or scaffolding would be used to inspect the structure however due to the size of the strucutre this would have been a very time-consuming process using traditional access techniques.

Cyberhawk successfully completed all the inspection work scopes over the course of six days, proving the speed and efficiency of UAV inspections and reinforcing that the technology can produce exceptional results in the harshest of offshore environments.

OIL AND GAS UAV INSPECTION IN IRELAND

An oil and gas supermajor called upon Cyberhawk to conduct a detailed inspection of an elevated, guy-wire supported, flare stack and over 60m of elevated pipe work in Ireland.


OIL AND GAS UAV INSPECTION IN IRELAND

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

Traditionally, the inspection of elevated flare stacks would require a plant shutdown and technicians climbing the stack ; however Cyberhawk were able to complete the inspection while the stack was live, allowing the operator to significantly reduce costs by maximising uptime of the process equipment. The rationale behind the operator’s use of UAVs on the elevated pipe rack was to reduce human exposure to potential hazards, such as working at height. The drone, operated by highly trained O&G pilot and ASME plant inspector, was able to complete the structural inspection and potential dropped object sweep, quickly and in high detail while the team were on the ground.

The project, carried out by a two-man team, saw Cyberhawk examine the condition of the assets in a few days. Relatively strong winds proved a challenge during the inspection, however this was easily tackled by our robust UAV, which can fly in up to 25 knots of wind, as well as the experienced pilots who operate the equipment full manually.

Thanks to our track record and extensive experience in the oil and gas sector, Cyberhawk was chosen as the preferred UAV inspection company to provide accurate data on the condition of the assets.

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Cyberhawk successfully completed the work scopes, delivering high quality inspection reports with high resolution imagery which enabled the client to understand both the asset’s condition and a previous repair made to the flare tips. The client reported the project was carried out within budget and reported significant time savings.

TANK ROOF PONTOON INTERNAL INSPECTION FOR OIL AND GAS SUPERMAJOR

Cyberhawk was asked by one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies to inspect the internal roof pontoons and steel shell of a floating roof tank dedicated to the production of unrefined diesel at a refinery in the UK.


TANK ROOF PONTOON INTERNAL INSPECTION FOR OIL AND GAS SUPERMAJOR

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

Cyberhawk was chosen to undertake this complex workscope as a result of its successful track record of internal UAV inspection within confined spaces and its teams of highly skilled pilots and inspectors who were be mobilised for the inspection. UAVs were chosen as the preferred method of inspection primarily to reduce the safety risks associated with working in confined spaces.

Usually this type of inspection is conducted by personnel entering inside the tight roof pontoons of the tank and would require weeks to complete the work scope. Cyberhawk has proven that UAVs not only reduce the requirement for working in confined spaces, but was able to complete the full scope in just five days. Cyberhawk’s two-man team examined the condition of the 25 pontoons and the entire internal surface of the tank, meaning the inside of the asset was fully inspected whilst the team remained in a safe position on the outside to fly the UAV.

With the challenges of no GPS signal and different entry points for each pontoon, Cyberhawk’s pilot had to apply all of their training and experience and work with an extremely high level of precision. The ability to fly fully manually while travelling through the tank’s compartments was essential to ensure a successful end result.

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Cyberhawk successfully completed the work scope delivering a high-quality inspection report with high-resolution images which enabled the client to understand the tank’s condition. The pontoons were found to be in generally good condition throughout with no significant damage or defects. The client reported the project was carried out within budget and reported significant time savings.

NORTHERN SCOTLAND WIND FARM SURVEY

Cyberhawk recently conducted a complete aerial survey of a wind farm in northern Scotland for a large civil engineering consultant.


NORTHERN SCOTLAND WIND FARM SURVEY

Sector
Power Generation
Region
Europe

We were chosen to conduct this workscope thanks to our significant experience working for the world’s largest energy companies and experience of working in challenging environments, using UAVs to quickly acquire geospatial data in remote areas. Our unrivalled experience in aerial data acquisition and processing gave our client confidence that the survey results would be of the highest quality.

Using one of our fixed-wing UAV, with onboard RTK GPS positioning, we completed the full site survey in two days – a traditional ground-based survey may have taken over two weeks to complete. In addition to topographic data, we also provided high resolution orthophoto imagery with 3cm per pixel ground resolution.

Cyberhawk deployed a two-man survey team, comprised of a land surveyor and an experienced pilot, to survey a 230-hectare site of boggy moorland. Access on foot for a traditional land survey team would have been difficult and potentially hazardous, however aerial survey meant only limited ground access was required.

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The project was delivered successfully and on time, with the client reporting significant cost savings. Cyberhawk provided orthophoto imagery in tiled .jpeg format, as well as a digital Surface Model in .csv format on a 1m grid spacing and 3D Pointcloud in las format.

SAUDI ARABIA – LIVE FLARE INSPECTION

Cyberhawk recently completed an onshore inspection project at an oil and gas refinery in Saudi Arabia. The workscope involved the close visual inspection of a flare tip and supporting structure.


SHELL BRENT DELTA DECOMMISSIONING

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

Due to our extensive track record and ability to fly underneath platforms (a GPS denied environment), the client deemed Cyberhawk the best fit for the project. Previous efforts using scaffolding and rope access were unsuccessful due to the inaccessibility and the wild sea state which often washed the scaffold away. With the use of drones, the client was able to reach an informed decision as to whether a single lift of the platform was even possible based upon a condition assessment of the underdeck.

This inspection, which took place in 2012, was the world’s first underdeck inspection using drones. Cyberhawk faced a number of challenges throughout the inspection. With no GPS signal while flying the UAV underdeck, the team relied heavily on their piloting skills as no automated functions could be used. Since then, numerous inspections of the underdeck have been completed, offering accurate data on the condition of the platform over time. Recently, our technology also allowed the client’s engineers to make a final thorough assessment prior to decommissioning, by using a 3d model created by Cyberhawk by means of photogrammetry. This model was compared against the design model for discrepancies, as often modifications are made which aren’t fed back to the design team.

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All the information used for planning successfully assisted a smooth and risk free run of the project,. Furthermore, by using the decommissioning vessel on standby for less time, costs were reduced dramatically.

The Brent Delta platform decommissioning also has a more personal twist for Cyberhawk. Back in the early 80s, our CEO’s father Jesz Fleming worked for Shell as the client representative on the saturation diving vessel, Arctic Seal. Chris remembers hearing the stories about the brave men who spent their working days in the deep dark water of the North Sea. As many tasks once carried out by divers are now completed by ROVs, in the aim to reduce risk for personnel, the drone is also now replacing humans and, where possible, removing exposure to potential risk.

FLARE INSPECTION IN SAUDI ARABIA

Cyberhawk completed the inspection of a live flare stack at a major onshore refinery in Saudi Arabia, without the need to shut down operations.


GROUND FLARE INSPECTION FOR OIL & GAS SUPERMAJOR

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

Cyberhawk was tasked by an oil and gas supermajor to conduct an internal and external ground flare inspection – one of many repeat projects on the client’s site. An experienced team of two from Cyberhawk, including a flare inspection engineer and an oil and gas qualified inspection pilot, was mobilised to inspect a 20-metre-high, ground flare.

The inside of the flare is made of refractory tiles that had become detached over time, whilst wind breakers on the top of the flare, used to improve combustion, were damaged. An inspection of this type would normally be completed using a MEWP (Mobile Elevated Working Platform), however due to an increased risk of dropped objects that could cause damage to other assets or personnel, UAVs were deemed the best way to inspect the asset. Furthermore, a UAV would be able to obtain a far more detailed level of information in comparison with traditional inspection methods.

Thanks to our international track record with the oil and gas supermajor, Cyberhawk was chosen to provide accurate data on the condition of the 30-year-old flare. Thanks to a CVI (Close Visual Inspection), Cyberhawk could advise on the critical condition level and assist in predicting the damage development.

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While this flare was shutdown, one particularly challenge was another nearby flare, which was live. This meant our pilot had to keep the drone away from the second flare, so the inspection quality or the safety of the asset would not be compromised. Our team had the challenging task of creating a flight plan that would help them gather as much information as possible, whilst avoiding the proximity of the live flare.

Sending teams to the inside of the flare would expose humans to potential gas leaks as well as the risk of dropped objects. With Cyberhawk’s UAV inspection, any gas leak can be detected through specific monitors on the drone, with findings used to notify site management of any potentially dangerous defects to be addressed.

Cyberhawk has once again demonstrated how complex inspection projects can be completed using UAV technology, in a faster time and at a lower cost than traditional methods.

CYBERHAWK INSPECTS UK’S LARGEST CHIMNEY STACK

Cyberhawk was called upon to inspect two chimneys at Drax Power Station, which generates 16% of Great Britain’s Renewable electricity. The requirement was to provide a detailed external inspection of both chimney stacks, which included one of the largest in western Europe.


CYBERHAWK INSPECTS UK’S LARGEST CHIMNEY STACK

Sector
Power Generation
Region
Europe

Constructed in 1969 to withstand hurricane-force winds, the chimney stands 259 metres tall. At the time of construction, it was the largest industrial chimney in the world. It was essential for both chimneys to remain online throughout the inspections, meaning Cyberhawk was required to work onsite while the power station was fully operational, and around other day-to-day activities taking place on site.

Alternative methods for carrying out this scope of work, such as rope access, elevated cradles or scaffolding, would have taken weeks to complete the inspections and even longer when their erection and dismantling was included.

The two-man team, consisting of an experienced pilot and a certified inspector engineer, had to select specific flight positions to inspect the full circumference of the chimneys. The team also had to follow strict VLOS (visual line of site) protocols, which meant that whilst flying, the pilot had to remain in sight of the drone.

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Cyberhawk’s solution not only mitigated the risks associated with this method, such as working at height, but reduced the inspection times as well. Normal timescales for this type of inspection would take more than 10 days per chimney, however, Cyberhawk carried out the inspection in just six days for both assets.

A number of imperfections consistent with the age of the structure were highlighted by the inspection. This allowed the client to become aware that structural maintenance was required and so had adequate data to outsource this work to a third-party provider. The results were delivered through Cyberhawk’s asset management software, iHawk. Utilising this software allowed the team to provide the client with detailed location and accurate defect sizing to +/- 10mm.

The high quality of images delivered through iHawk allowed Drax to provide structural repair companies with detailed visual data and in turn obtain accurate repair quotations. This information allowed the client to significantly minimise costs.

INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL CHIMNEY INSPECTION IN WASHINGTON STATE, US

In April 2017, Cyberhawk completed an internal and external inspection of a 250ft stack at a refinery in Washington State, US.


FPSO INSPECTION IN THE NORTH SEA

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

The client had initially planned to use a relatively inexperienced drone operator. However, while developing the risk assessment with said operator, it became clear that the work scope was complex. This meant a more experienced UAV operator was required, with a proven track record and multiple similar projects under its belt. The operator also needed to have the inspection engineering expertise to ensure detailed reports would be produced, which would allow the client to make maintenance decisions. For Cyberhawk, this was a routine inspection that was completed in five days.

Alternative methods for carrying out this scope of work, such as rope access, elevated cradles or scaffolding, would have taken weeks to complete the inspections. The hull of the boat would have been especially tricky, since there was a water outlet with built up growth that was hard to access, and high risk of LSA exposure (Low Specific Activity) which is naturally occurring radioactivity.

Cyberhawk recently completed a multi-scope inspection of an FPSO in the North Sea. The requirement was to provide a detailed inspection of the flare tip and supporting structure, inert gas vent, internal tank and a survey of the hull of the vessel.

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Cyberhawk’s solution mitigated the risks associated with other methods, such as working at height or near contaminated areas. It also provided detailed data on the condition of the asset which allowed the client to take maintenance measures wherever needed, thus prioritising actions and significantly minimising costs.


MONTHLY FLARE INSPECTION FOR OIL AND GAS SUPERMAJOR

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

As part of a detailed multi scope inspection in 2016, Cyberhawk detected critical damage on the flare tip of a fixed platform in the North Sea. Since then, Cyberhawk has been asked to closely monitor the damage and report back any potential further degradation, with the intent to defer a costly unplanned shutdown until the planned TAR.

Thanks to its international track record with the oil and gas supermajor, Cyberhawk was chosen as the preferred UAV inspection company to provide accurate data on the condition of the flare. An experienced team of two from Cyberhawk, including a flare inspection engineer and offshore qualified inspection pilot, is mobilised each month to undertake the work.

Thanks to a CVI (Close Visual Inspection), Cyberhawk can advise on the level of the critical condition and assist in predicting the damage development.

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As part of a detailed multi scope inspection in 2016, Cyberhawk detected critical damage on the flare tip of a fixed platform in the North Sea. Since then, Cyberhawk has been asked to closely monitor the damage and report back any potential further degradation, with the intent to defer a costly unplanned shutdown until the planned TAR.

Traditionally this inspection would be completed with the use of a helicopter, however, the level of detail obtainable is nowhere near what is achieved with UAV technology. Together with the quicker inspection times, reduced cost of inspection and avoidance of unplanned shutdowns, Cyberhawk’s UAV solution has once again proven its worth in the offshore oil and gas sector.


MORECAMBE BAY UNDERDECK INSPECTION FOR CENTRICA

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

Due to our extensive track record and ability to successfully fly underneath an offshore platform (a GPS denied environment), the client deemed Cyberhawk the best fit for the project. Our inspection methods very effectively acquire high quality images, which are used to accurately determine the asset condition required for the further planning of remedial work.

In April 2017, Cyberhawk was selected by Centrica to carry out an underdeck inspection of the satellite platforms DP6 and DP8 at the gas fields in Morecambe Bay, UK. Cyberhawk faced a number of challenges throughout this inspection. With no GPS signal while flying the UAV underdeck, the team relied heavily on their piloting skills. Operating from a stand-by vessel also provided additional challenges due to the movement of the vessel in relation to the platform. The team had to work with the low tide to be able to cover the underdeck of the platform, timing the flights and liaising with the rest of the platform crew.

The alternative method considered for this nature of inspection would have been to use a rope access technician team (RAT). This technique increases man hours and would have seen the RAT team suspended from the flat-bottom platform for several weeks, which would have been hard to manage due to the short low tide windows.

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Steve Bowskill, Senior Integrity Engineer at Centrica said: “This is the second survey we have had Cyberhawk do for us in the last few months. They have been doing underdeck inspections on some of our remote platforms from a FRC boat, saving us time, money and ensuring inspections are being completed safely.

“Their inspection methods enabled the core helicopter intervention crew on the topsides of the remote platform to remain the same. Cyberhawk team did not take up POB on the platform, ensuring other maintenance tasks could continue unhindered, thus meeting the scheduled plan. We have also used them on our terminals at Barrow in Furness.

“They are an excellent company to work with and their engineers are very professional with great reports to allow informed engineering decisions to be made.”

Cyberhawk completed the visual inspection of the underdeck in just two days, compared with rope access which would have required over five weeks to complete. The client was then able to make an informed decision on whether further manned inspections were required, only sending in the RAT team to specific selected locations if needed.

In projects of this nature savings are in the range of £1,000,000+, and most operators are now regularly using this technique for underdeck inspections.


CONVERTER STATION INSPECTIONS FOR SIEMENS

Sector
Power Grid
Region
Europe

Cyberhawk was tasked by Siemens, a leading offshore wind energy company, to carry out close visual inspections of three converter stations of transmission system operator TenneT, at the European Economic Zone in December 2016. Cyberhawk was chosen due to our previous experience in successfully inspecting offshore turbines and met masts as well as our visual asset management software, iHawk.

The alternatives, which include using rope access or elevated platforms, would not only have increased man hours on site but also involved working at height which would expose people to more danger. The harsh winter conditions also presented challenges for the pilot and are the reason we mobilize only our most highly trained personnel offshore.

Cyberhawk mobilised a two-man team to undertake the UAV inspections, completing the entire project in seven days which is less than half the time traditional methods would take.

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The use of our asset management software, iHawk, allowed Siemens to access high definition images of the whole structure and quickly see the defects identified. This in turn helped quick and effective asset management decisions to be made.

Thanks to Cyberhawk’s inspection team working closely and effectively with a third-party maintenance team, in a single mobilisation, the project proved to be extremely time and cost efficient for Siemens.

QUARRY SURVEY IN SCOTLAND

Cyberhawk was recently commissioned by a major engineering consultancy to provide an aerial survey of an active Quarry situated in Fife, Scotland.


QUARRY SURVEY IN SCOTLAND

Sector
Land & Rail
Region
Europe

Cyberhawk was recently commissioned by a major engineering consultancy to provide an aerial survey of an active Quarry situated in Fife, Scotland.

A Cyberhawk three man team consisting of surveyors and a UAV pilot was sent to carry out the survey. The aerial survey provided by Cyberhawk was chosen by the client due to cost effective prices and experience in delivering high quality outputs. The team surveyed the 275-hectare site in one day. This was achieved using Cyberhawk’s fixed wing UAV which offers extensive benefits compared to rotary UAVs for a site of this size.

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The fixed wing UAV has an on-board GPS positioning system that precisely logs the UAV’s position during the flight, which means less time is required for ground control to be carried out by the surveyor.

Cyberhawk also has special CAA permissions for EVLOS (extended visual line of sight), which allowed this project to be carried out in one single flight as the fixed wing aircraft could be flown up to 1500 meters away from the pilot’s position utilising a remote observer. A site of this size would normally take a full day to establish traditional aerial survey ground control.

The final outputs for the project were high-resolution orthophoto imagery, digital elevation model and 3D pointcloud data.

By utilising a fixed-wing UAV with precise onboard positioning the survey was completed in a fraction of the time required for a traditional ground-based topographic survey or even a rotary-wing UAV survey. It also allowed significant cost savings for the client and allowed a quick turnaround in the high quality aerial data that was obtained.

AKZONOBEL CHEMICALS DRONE INSPECTION

In April 2016, Cyberhawk was tasked by Akzo Noble, a major producer of speciality chemicals in the Netherlands, to complete multiple challenging work scopes including a moored ship’s cargo holds, inside a double skin roof, under a loading jetty, inside silos and concrete slab roofs.


AKZONOBEL CHEMICALS DRONE INSPECTION

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

In April 2016, Cyberhawk was tasked by Akzo Noble, a major producer of speciality chemicals in the Netherlands, to complete multiple challenging work scopes including a moored ship’s cargo holds, inside a double skin roof, under a loading jetty, inside silos and concrete slab roofs.

The project posed several challenges for the Cyberhawk team. Cyberhawk have developed a UAV and operational procedures for flying in internal and confined spaces in a safe a repeatable manner, which was required for these challenging work scopes. Despite the potential difficulties, Cyberhawk completed the project successfully, returning the UAV safely at the end of the inspection and capturing data to write detailed engineering inspection reports.

Cyberhawk was appointed by the client as it introduced new inspection technology to its global operations.

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The traditional inspection method for this project would have been rope access, resulting in personnel working at height and three times longer to complete and even longer if scaffolding was required. Utilising Cyberhawk’s UAVs allowed the inspection to be completed in just three days and secured significant time and cost savings for the client.


COOLING TOWER INSPECTIONS FOR DRAX POWER STATION

Sector
Power Generation
Region
Europe

It was essential for the cooling towers to remain operational throughout the inspections, meaning Cyberhawk was required to work onsite while the power station was fully operational and in conjunction with other operational activities on site.

Alternate methods for carrying out this scope of work, such as rope access, elevated cradles or scaffolding, would have taken weeks to complete the inspections, and even longer when their erection and dismantling was included. Cyberhawk’s solution not only mitigated the risks associated with this method, such as working at height, but reduced the inspection times. Normal timescales for this scope of work would be ten days per tower, however Cyberhawk carried out the inspections in just two days. A number of defects highlighted meant the company became aware that structural repairs were required and so had adequate data to outsource this work to a third-party provider.

Cyberhawk was called upon to inspect 12 cooling towers at Drax Power Station, in northern England, the second largest coal-fired power station in Europe. The requirement was to provide a detailed inspection of the external concrete shell and mantels across all cooling towers.

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The results were delivered through Cyberhawk’s asset management software, iHawk. Utilising this software also allowed the team to provide the client with detailed location and accurate defect sizing to +/- 10mm.

The high quality of images delivered through iHawk allowed the client to provide structural repair companies with detailed visual data and in turn obtain accurate repair quotations. This information, along with the successful completion of the project, allowed the client to significantly minimise costs.

More on the DRAX website https://www.drax.com/technology/youre-afraid-heights-dont-job/.


SHELL MOERDIJK FLARE INSPECTION, NETHERLANDS

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

The site extends over 250 Ha and produces 4.5 million tonnes of product per year. The work scope involved the close visual inspection of an 80m high flare stack, while live and operational.

Shell Moerdijk required a rapid deployment to its facility to aid troubleshooting and defect analysis of the flare. The purpose of this inspection was to provide detailed information to the on-site technical team regarding the operation of the pilot burners and the flame front generator. The detailed inspection report compared the current condition to past inspections, to understand if there had been any deterioration and to assist with effective maintenance.

Oil and gas supermajor, Shell, called upon Cyberhawk to conduct a live flare inspection at Moerdijk, one of the Netherland’s largest chemical plants.

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An experienced team of two from Cyberhawk, including a flare inspection engineer and oil and gas qualified inspection pilot, was mobilised to undertake the work and took just two days to conduct the full inspection of the flare tip and supporting derrick structure. Alternative methods such as rope access or scaffolding would have taken weeks to complete, required a shutdown of the facility and would have presented significant dangers to personnel, such as working at height. Multiple inspections were completed to provide further information on changes due to gas composition.

The project reinforced Cyberhawk’s leading position within the industry and in Europe.


INTERNAL TANK INSPECTION AT UK GAS TERMINAL

Sector
Oil Gas & Petrochemical
Region
Europe

The project, carried out by a two-man team, saw Cyberhawk examine the quality of several pipe support fittings and the entire internal surface of the storage tank. The inside of the asset was fully inspected whilst the team remained on the outside to fly the UAV.