- ClassNK conducted a demonstration test of a ship class survey using drone technology.
- The test successfully proved the drones’ ability to monitor the health of the vessel.
- In April 2018 ClassNK released its Guidelines for Use of Drones in Class Surveys.
- The inspection was part of ClassNK’s 2017 launched Survey Technology Innovation research programme.
ClassNK announced in late December it conducted a demonstration test of a ship class survey using drone technology, reports the Motorship.
Simulated Inspection Conducted
ClassNK surveyors carried out a survey on a Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL)-operated coal carrier. Using camera-equipped drones, drone pilots conducted a simulated ship inspection inside the vessel’s cargo hold and ballast tank.
What were the results?
ClassNK confirmed that the test successfully proved the drones’ ability to monitor rust, corrosion, and the presence of cracks. The test was also intended to address concerns about the interaction of magnetic material on drone sensors (such as GPS and magnetic compass) which are closely related to flight stability.
How will drones help?
Using drones to visually check the condition of remote structural components can significantly reduce survey times and staging costs, while at the same time improving surveyor safety. Rapid advances in drone technology are creating opportunities for new commercial applications in the ocean shipping industry.
Drone Guidelines by ClassNK
ClassNK released its Guidelines for Use of Drones in Class Surveys in April 2018. These guidelines incorporate the applicable range and procedures for use of drones in-class surveys, the technical considerations for safe operation and the requirements for drone service suppliers.
The inspection, which was also attended by representatives of Mitsui, Hitachi, and MOL, formed part of ClassNK’s Survey Technology Innovation research programme, launched in 2017.
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Source: The Motorship