A South American company is saying “tanks” to Japanese drone provider Terra Drone Corporation after the company’s Brazilian division performed a UAS-based tank inspection – the first of its kind in the country.
Flying in the Pre Salt Area at Santos Basin, the drones check out tanks on the P-66, a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit for petroleum company Petrobas.
Terra Drone specializes in commercial drone hardware, software and UTM. The company focuses on the mining, construction, energy generation, oil and gas sectors, using UAS-based LiDAR and photogrammetry surveying solutions.
Cargo and ballast tanks are inspected regularly due to constant maintenance needs. Any kind of corrosion, cracks, fractures, or welding anomalies must be identified quickly before they can damage the structural integrity of the ship.
“Traditionally, this inspection is done by sending a team of up to four men inside the confined tank space using scaffolds or rope access,” Marcelo Belleti, Executive Director at Terra Drone Brazil, said.
“This kind of close-up visual inspection of one tank alone can take anywhere from a half day to a full day – all this while posing a safety threat to the workers inside the tank. Using drones, however, reduces the need for human worker to enter the tank.”
Last month, Terra Drone’s European office announced an agreement to provide drone services to the UK’s national mapping agency, Ordnance Survey. The contract includes services from orthomosaics to digital terrain models (DTM) and digital surface models. Terra Drone Europe plans to survey more than 500 locations using fixed-wing and multi-rotor drones.
More recently, Terra Drone demonstrated an unmanned traffic management (UTM) system developed jointly with drone traffic management firm Unifly.