A Dutch university is working to develop technology that would allow drones to more accurately measure corrosion on oil and gas structures.
With funding from Sky-Futures, a worldwide drone inspection company specializing in oil and gas inspections, a project team at Dutch University, TU Delft seeks to overcome current inspection limitations by developing drone sensors and accompanying data processing and display software that can take accurate measurements of hard to access infrastructure.
Industry experts say drones cannot fly close enough to structures such as offshore oil rigs in order to physically measure defects with current drone technology. The process still requires rope climbers in order to further investigate many anomalies. Advanced drone sensory development could allow for the measurement of cracks, corrosion and other defects of structures over time from repeatable data gathered by drone, more safely providing condition forecasts that in turn could be used to improve maintenance schedules.
“Additional sensor payload technology would allow cracks as well as the thickness and integrity of structures, such as pipework under a rig to be physically measured and, crucially, monitored,” Adrian Karl, Sky-Futures CTO, said. “Developing sensors and software that can collect measurements from the structure itself in ways that humans could not before will change the way in which our clients assets are managed and revolutionize the way in which drones can improve inspections.”
Located in Delft, The Netherlands, TU Delft University of Technology is the largest and oldest Dutch technological university.
The TU Delft project team previously worked on innovative solutions for the commercial drone industry, including the ‘Ambulance Drone’ concept, which gained 6.3 million+ views on YouTube.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com