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UAV technology rises to the challenge

Words: Shelley Regan

Across the renewables industry, UAV technology is now an established and essential part of maintenance inspections and surveys. The accessibility and capability of the mission-critical data gathered for asset integrity inspections has been a ‘game changer’.

It is not just the savings in terms of time- and cost-efficiency that are decisive, but the numerous operational benefits that include improved monitoring and planning and the removal of risks to personnel.

The technology has proven itself against so many long-established ways of working. The UAV inspection method avoids the need for rope-access inspections and associated costly asset shutdowns, saving time and money as well as removing the risks of working at height.

Work scope for fabric maintenance can be quantified much more quickly and accurately through close visual inspection for example. CVI inspections generate thousands of images and high-definition video. All of this provides data to inform engineering decisions in a fraction of the time that it would take a large rope access team to cover an area such as a full turbine.

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