Dogger Bank – successful UAV inspection!

13. October 2014
successful Doggerbank UAV inspection with the AscTec Falcon 8 + Inspection Payload.

Sky-Futures completed a successful UAV inspection of a meteorological mast in the North Sea for client Forewind.

It was the first time Sky-Futures had been commissioned to inspect met masts, and gave them the chance to further prove their support vessel UAV inspection skills. Takeoff, control and landing of the AscTec Falcon 8 were performed offshore from the boat.

It took place at the Doggerbank zone of the North Sea. As development partner for Dogger Bank, the Forewind consortium formed by the four owner companies – RWE, SSE, Statkraft and Statoil – in November 2008 has the objective to achieve consent for an agreed target installed capacity of 9GW of offshore wind farm projects by 2020. The Sky-Futures team was commissioned to inspect both the East and West Met Masts. The UAV inspection scope included the under deck beams, under deck ladders as well as a general structural inspection.

UAV Inspection from support vessels are highly complex. During this inspection, the team encountered issues from currents moving the boat away from the structures being inspected. It takes highly skilled pilots to safely respond to these conditions. Using our experience of previous inspections from vessels offshore we were able to effectively plan with the with the support boat captain, the best areas for the UAV to be launched to gain the best angles and images for the client.

Another complication facing the UAV inspection team was managing the ocean swells. This was overcome by the UAV being flown against the swell direction. Despite the weather and adverse conditions, the Sky-Futures team were able to complete the inspection in a day. All areas were captured using a combination of HD video and stills imagery.

Sky-Futures‘ clients were able to get a clear understanding of the condition of both Met Masts.  It negated the requirement for a rope access inspection which had previously been planned, saving the client time, money and the removing the risk of using of rope-climbers.

Sky-Futures relish any new challenge. This inspection again proved Sky-Futures ability to adapt and respond to new, original scopes as well as unexpected conditions.


Sky-Futures provides a data collection and inspection service for the onshore and offshore Oil and Gas sector using small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Their focus is on enhancing safety, reducing costs and developing operational efficiencies for our Oil and Gas clients through the use of UAS technology and data analysis platforms. Sky-Futures has offices in Aberdeen, London, Malaysia and Norway.

Sky-Futures is member of the Small UAV Coalition:
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