A Sky-Futures drone inspection team completed the world’s first trial inspection of an FPSO cargo tank by drone without a human having to enter the tank. Working with our technology partners, Flyability, Sky-Futures have delivered a new way of conducting inspections in confined spaces. Karen Cowie, the BW Senior Integrity Engineer for the Athena FPSO, commented on the inspection technology,
“…from the inspection completed it is clear that the benefits in terms of not just time and cost to inspect but also preparation, cleaning, repeatability and access requirements highlight that this technology is an exceptional tool to have available but for our specific requirements the safety benefit to be gained by avoiding personnel entry is invaluable.”
The drone was able to fly down in to the FPSO tank unaided and, by using Sky-Futures proprietary inspection technique, accurately navigate the internal space conducting both General Visual Inspections (GVI) and Close Visual Inspections (CVI) of the space.
Sky-Futures Engineering Manager Steve Moir and Adrian Karl Chief Technology Officer (CTO) have spent the last twelve months developing both an inspection procedure and software to collect high quality, repeatable image data sets that allow clients to carry out confined space inspections without having to leave their desk. This revolutionizes the risk, speed and cost attached to FPSO tanks inspections by making them safer, faster and cheaper.
Current confined space inspection techniques require people to climb inside dangerous and potentially hazardous tanks. This process is fraught with danger, is time consuming and can deliver low quality data sets. The Sky-Futures and Flyability drone based solution allows inspections to take place without man-entry, significantly reducing risk to people and plant, whilst improving both the quality and repeatability of the data sets.
The image and video data collected in these inspections is then delivered through the Sky-Futures Cloud. A secure web based application that allows clients to easily and intuitively access data from anywhere in the world and compare the latest inspections to previous data sets.
Steve Moir, Sky-Futures Engineering Manager
“Our world class training facilities, including replicas of ship hull and oil rig confined spaces, provided us with the perfect conditions to recreate site conditions. Through our partnership with Flyability and close relationship with the vessel owner, we have spent thousands of hours developing and evolving the flying techniques, procedures, risk assessments, reporting tools and software which gave us the confidence to take a credible and reliable product to market.
The demonstrable safety benefits, combined with cost and time savings with this inspection technique speak for themselves but we look forward to continually raising the bar and increasing the integrity confidence grading.”
“…it is clear that the benefits in terms of not just time and cost to inspect but also preparation, cleaning, repeatability and access requirements highlight that this technology is an exceptional tool”
Founded in 2009, Sky-Futures is the world leading provider of drone inspection services for the oil and gas industry. The company conducts safe, cost effective and experienced drone inspections of live flare stacks, splash zones, decommissioning, general topside work and under deck, using HD video, still and thermal imagery. The data is analyzed, processed and delivered through the Sky-Futures Cloud – an advanced data platform. Sky-Futures have been growing their global operations fast and now offer drone inspection services out of their offices in Houston, London, Aberdeen, Kuala Lumpur and Abu Dhabi. Clients include 35+ of the biggest Oil and Gas companies in the world including Statoil, Shell, Total, BP, Maersk, ConocoPhillips.
Earlier in February 2016, Sky-Futures announced that they had received an additional $5.7 million in funding led by Bristow Group, a helicopter service provider to the energy industry and existing investor MMC Ventures. This latest investment will allow Sky-Futures to accelerate the development of its technology platform. Sky-Futures uses sophisticated software to automate analysis of the data its drones gather, helping to identify potential problems on Oil and Gas assets and provide accurate corrosion forecasts.
Flyability is a Swiss company building safe drones for inaccessible places. By allowing drones to be used safely inside cities, inside buildings, and in contact with people, it enables new interactions and services with UAVs and solving the two most critical issues of one of the fastest growing industries: collision and injury risks. The company’s first market is in industrial inspection where it avoids sending people in dangerous and confined spaces for the inspection of Energy, Oil & Gas or transport infrastructure. It is also active in Search & Rescue and security to assess emergency situations without putting humans at risk. Flyability is the winner of the 1M USD Drones for Good Award and over 10 other technology and business prizes.