Can you tell us something about Cyberhawk?
‘We are the world leaders in inspection using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Cyberhawk has flown more than any other commercial UAV service provider with more than 25,000 flights safely completed around the world. We have achieved more than 25 world firsts and completed over 200 live flare inspection offshore and more than 5,000 structural inspections.
Cyberhawk utilizes highly qualified Inspection Engineers and Pilots who have many years’ experience in employing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology to get the very best inspection results in harsh offshore environments. Our pilots are trained to the highest health and safety standards, with risk assessments and method statements provided before the project starts.’
What are your biggest technological challenges at the moment?
‘Because a large proportion of our work is carried out offshore either over, under or even inside offshore structures the environment presents the biggest challenge for the work we do. Extreme weather including high winds, big seas and a potentially explosive gaseous environment mean that we cannot rely on many of the automated systems for our work. The lack of reliable sense and avoid on commercial systems means our missions are tense as we maintain separation from assets. Most of the tools used in the oil and gas industry are intrinsically safe and thus cannot cause a spark. Drones for the time being are not intrinsically safe and as such extra safety margins and mitigations are introduced to reduce the chance of an explosion that could be caused with spark from the battery.’
What do you hope people will learn from your presentation at TUS Nordics?
‘The audience will gain insights in UAV operations offshore and the solution that this technology offers for the maintenance and inspection of offshore assets. More importantly, commercial drone opportunities are set to grow by almost 200% between 2014 and 2024, with more and more drone operators entering the business landscape. Few companies exist which have the experience to carry out these types of inspections with confidence and success, every time.
We share our top tips for large enterprises to consider when selecting a drone inspection provider so that they can fully harness the benefits of this technology such as gather the information to fully plan and budget shutdowns and turnarounds ahead of time, dramatic cost and time savings, high definition photographic images with detailed engineering analysis and much more.’
What presentation do you hope to give in 5 years?
‘I hope that the rapid growth of this technology will see our solution fully integrated within the inspection and maintenance regimes of offshore assets. This way the technology will adapt to the needs of the clients and the safety and cost benefits will be maximized. I will hopefully be able to talk about tailored solutions to different projects- something that Cyberhawk is already implementing with internal, thermal and underdeck inspections- and overall evolution of the equipment, processes and pilot training achieved.’