Sky-Futures entwickelt UAS Inspection Application Guide

31. März 2016

Um UAS Inspektionen noch sicherer und effektiver zu machen, unterstützt Sky-Futures Lloyd’s Register Energy dabei eine UAS Inspektionsanleitung zu entwickeln. Diese “Guidance Notes” sind Anwendungsempfehlungen und beruhen auf den Erfahrungen, die Sky-Futures über Jahre bei diversen Drohnen-Inspektionseinsätzen gesammelt hat.

Für Lloyd’s Registers “Safe and Effective UAS Application Guide” hat Sky-Futures zusammen mit Maersk Drilling und Keppel diese Operationsanweisungen in zwei Fallstudien einem Praxistest unterzogen. In die Untersuchung einbezogen wurden unter anderem Sicherheitsaspekte, regulatorische, technische, datentechnische und operationale Gesichtspunkte. Bei den Testbefliegungen ging es dann besonders darum, welche Methode funktioniert und wie sie weiterentwickelt werden könnte, um UAS Inspektionen noch effizienter zu machen.

„Drohnen als Überprüfungsinstrumente ermöglichen Nahaufnahmen von kritischen Zonen aus sicherer Distanz und Langzeitanalysen zur Überwachung von Verschleiß und Abbaugeschwindigkeit. Auf diese Weise ist es Inspekteuren möglich Wartungsarbeiten systematisch zu planen und verlässlich zu budgetieren.“ Kommentierte Helen West, Projektmanagerin, Lloyd’s Register.

„Als global führender UAS Inspektionsanbieter war Sky-Futures erfreut mit dem Zertifizierungsteam von Lloyd’s Register in diesem ersten Iterationszyklus zusammenarbeiten zu dürfen. Durch die Entwicklung dieser Guidelines wird der Drohneneinsatz im Bereich Öl und Gas sicherer und schrittweise standardisiert.“ So Nick Rogers, Mitgründer und Leitender Regulierungs- und Trainingsoffizier bei Sky-Futures.

Hier können Sie diese Guidance Notes herunterladen

Hier erfahren Sie mehr über die Guidance Notes von Lloyd’s Register.

Details zu den zwei Fallstudien (im Englischen Original):

Flare tip inspection, resulting in speedy delivery of high quality data and specialist analysis. Inspection completed for lower total cost than traditional manual inspection, despite a greater upfront investment.

  • Client: ENI
  • UAS operator: Sky-Futures
  • Operation: Offshore installation, Liverpool Bay
  • Purpose: To set up a monitoring regime for the fixed structure asset flare tip and boom UAS inspection.

Outcomes: LR Project Manager Helen West said, “The UAS inspection delivered some key benefits to the client that a traditional inspection would not have done. A particular benefit being to minimise and even avoid the need for a shutdown, planned or unplanned. With the application of UAS inspection, the technical inspection data received would be reviewed and reported by competent personnel report and an integrity assessment would outline areas of concern. So the UAS inspection included the specialist and data interpretation as well as the data collection. This is an addition to the service as the use of drones has evolved.”

Helen identified a number of additional benefits to the client. She said, “Although the correct paperwork needs to be used e.g. ISSOW, method statements, Risk Assessment Safety Procedures, the process was quick and easy to set up. This negated the need of putting men at risk to scale the flare-tip to confirm the condition of the flare tip and boom chords. The end product delivered were clear images, both video and stills and a permanent record. The UAS was able to cover large areas and provided as well as the inspection of the flare provided other benefits such as identifying potential dropped objects (PDO) which may have been difficult to spot. Crucially, the UAS facilitates the application of a screening tool that allows closer inspection of suspect areas and ongoing monitoring over a period of time to evaluate the rate of degradation. This enables operators to plan maintenance and repair in a planned and budgeted, structured way.”

In general, whilst there is significant upside to UAS inspections, there are also challenges to overcome. As Helen explained, “The UAS can capture very detailed data but it can’t carry out repairs which a team could. Similarly, it relies on experts to operate the kit, guide it to the right locations/suspect areas and identify further inspection requirements.”

Furthermore, whilst UAS inspection provides opportunities for economies when viewed as an end-to-end process, the upfront investment can be greater than with a traditional inspection. Helen said, “Operators are sometimes daunted by the initial layout but this needs to be carefully evaluated against the costs of a traditional inspection, as well as the safety of personnel. Whilst this is likely to vary between applications, it has been our experience that most operators continue to opt for UAS inspection. However, in the current climate it is scrutinised as not essential for some tasks and a ‘nice to have’ so we have subsequently seen a decline of usage in the last 10 months.”

‘Test and learn’ by Lloyd’s Register with Maersk Drilling, Keppel and Sky-Futures to investigate the safe and effective application of UAS inspection in offshore rig inspection. Learnings supported the development of Lloyd’s Register Guidance Notes on UAS for inspection.


  • Evaluate the UAS capabilities, safety and effectiveness in offshore rig inspection
  • Investigate and improve inspections and reduce inspection costs
  • Recommend areas and inform technology development roadmap

Scope: The scope was to assess the capabilities of UAS by conducting a series of test cases using an industry standard UAS service provider on a Jack-Up drilling rig owned by Maersk Drilling.

Test cases were devised based on Lloyd’s Register DROPS check lists and other cases created from typical Jack-Up inspection scenarios from Lloyd’s Register knowledge base.

LR Senior Specialist Andy Frankland said: “The Jack-Up Rig had recently arrived in the shipyard for some upgrade work and was in the process of pre-loading dockside when the UAS project started. For this reason, it was decided to start the UAS test & learn by conducting an ‘inspection’ of the exterior of the hull, before continuing with under the helideck. Once the pre-load operation was completed, the jacking leg and derrick inspection would take place.”

Typical process:

  1. Risk assessment, flight & work permit
  2. Multi-party coordination
  3. Toolbox talk and clarification of objectives
  4. Equipment setup
  5. Pre-flight checklist
  6. FPV visuals and secondary views
  7. Clear area for ground take off or hand launch; set emergency landing
  8. On the spot, real time general visual inspection
  9. Battery endurance approximately 15 minutes per data collection flight
  10. Off-site post-processing, hardware/software image enhancements

Learnings and outcomes:

A range of learnings were captured, covering safety, regulatory, technical, data and operational issues, which input into the development of the Lloyd’s Register Guidance Notes on UAS for inspection.