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Autonomous Inspection Service for Offshore Wind to be developed in UK

Date: 17 Feb 2023 Author: Chief Editor

🤝 Autonomous robotics specialist Beex, offshore survey and inspection specialist Sulmara and the University of Strathclyde partnered and got Enterprise Singapore – Innovate UK grant to develop a next generation autonomous structural integrity inspection capability. Ultimately the end goal is a Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) solution drastically reducing the resources required to conduct essential underwater inspections and asset integrity assessment of offshore wind turbines.

🎯 Assisted by the grant funding, BeeX will be delivering their next-generation Hovering Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (HAUV) specifically for Offshore Wind; carrying specific survey & inspection payloads suitable for monopile and jacket inspections, piloted by artificial intelligence to automate inspection tasks & deliver repeatable efficient inspection of windfarm monopiles from seabed to the air water interface.

Sulmara’s scope will define the vertical asset inspection capabilities and sensor payloads needed for this next generation HAUV to meet the demands of the offshore wind sector as well as managing field trials and demonstration of the system alongside BeeX in 2024, with the ultimate aim to integrate the HAUV into a bespoke Unmanned Surface Vessel. With low carbon and reduced cost at the forefront of this project, it is clear that an HUAV hosted from an Uncrewed Surface Vehicle (USV), both optimised for the offshore wind sector can build on and improve the capabilities of the current Work Class ROVs hosted from larger crewed vessels.

The inspection missions will be optimised based on research by the University of Strathclyde, in developing a Structural Integrity framework to generate risk-based, fit-for-purpose, inspection missions that will feed into the HAUV automated mission control software.

🎤 BeeX chief executive officer, Grace Chia, said: “By 2025, we expect BeeX’s fully autonomous systems to help wind farm developers and operators reduce costs and risks to a fraction of today’s, from consenting to end-of-life. This grant funding is a critical piece of financing that unlocks the partners’ abilities to enable safer and clean energy for all, and we look forward to deployments at more wind farms across Europe.”

🎤 Kevin McBarron, CEO Sulmara added: “BeeX next generation HAUV combined with Sulmara USV hosting has the potential to be an industry game changer, cutting costs and drastically reducing carbon emissions.”

🎤 Professor Feargal Brennan, Head of Department for Naval Architecture Ocean and Marine Engineering at Strathclyde said: “The climate emergency demands that we apply the very best innovation to ensure better underwater data collection methodologies.

📃📷 Source: Sulmara, Beex