Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG 2015

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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48 unmanned systems inside   September/October 2015 AIR OIL & GAS vices over land in compliance with Federal Avia- tion Administration regulations. Over the last year or so, BP has used maps pro- duced with data from a UAS-based LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensor. These maps, along with precision GPS guidance systems, help drivers keep the drill rigs centered on the road- ways. The highly accurate maps also make it pos- sible to take a road grater and drive a convoy to rescue someone stuck during a blizzard. "Using UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and the latest light detection and ranging equipment, which incorporates remote sensors that use la- ser pulses to collect 3-D images, the team is able to create highly accurate, real-time models that help drivers stay on course along gravel roads, even in low-visibility, harsh conditions," said Curt Smith, technology director in BP's Digital Inno- vation Organization. "The UAS also help scan BP's pipeline network and identify areas that need repair from frost damage. The system has improved the integrity of the company's opera- tions by making them safer and more efficient." One of the advantages of using in-house UAS, drones, is BP staff can easily check on well pads and pipelines monthly—or as often as they'd like. BP isn't the only energy company looking to UAS to cut costs and provide more efficient, safer operations. The industry as a whole is starting to realize the many benefits this technology can provide. To help meet increasing demand, more UAS manufacturers are offering their services to oil and gas companies, from those who operate onshore oil fields like Prudhoe Bay in Alaska to firms with offshore oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico to chemical plants and refineries. From Upstream to Downstream One of the biggest challenges at both offshore and onshore facilities is corrosion under insu- lation, or CUI, said Dr. Peter McClean Millar, director for engineering subsea lifecycle services for Aker Solutions. An offshore company, Aker Solutions is very interested in employing UAS, and has been working with Unmanned Ad-Hoc Photo courtesy of ING Robotic Aviation ING's Responder can be used for a variety of other applications. Here it's inspecting a wind turbine in Nova Scotia. Check out "ING Robotic Aviation Uses Responder UAS for Turbine Blade Inspections" on insideunmannedsystems.com to learn more.

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