Martek Aviation employs 200 drones to successfully inspect turbine blades at UK offshore wind farm

For the first time, drones were used to inspect all 264 turbine blades across the 88 offshore locations at Sheringham Shoal wind farm.

Martek Aviation carried out the blade inspections using 200 UAS. The drones took eight minutes each to collect the important data.

Sheringham Shoal, operated by Statoil, a key player in the UK’s offshore wind sector, partnered with Martek Aviation to carry out the inspections. Using 200 UAS, the drones took eight minutes each to collect the relevant data. This allowed Statoil to instantly assess the condition of their assets on site.

“Martek Aviation is a professional company providing world-class wind turbine inspection services,” says Dale Symonds, Senior Engineer at the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind. “The UAS high-resolution camera has allowed us to perform excellent quality inspections on all turbine blades providing us with confidence and clarity. The service has allowed us to become more efficient, safe and profitable with our wind turbine inspections moving forwards.

Due to the advancements in UAS technology, the challenges faced with traditional inspection methods are being transformed into a safer and more streamlined data collection process. Previously, blade turbine inspections were performed from the ground using a simple camera for visual inspections or by risky human rope access. The use of drones has removed the requirement to climb the turbine by flying from the 40-meter vessel.

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