A Sky-Futures drone inspection team completed the world’s first trial inspection of an FPSO cargo tank by drone without a human having to enter the tank. Working with our technology partners, Flyability, Sky-Futures have delivered a new way of conducting inspections in confined spaces.

From the inspection completed it is clear that the benefits in terms of not just time and cost to inspect but also preparation, cleaning, repeatability and access requirements highlight that this technology is an exceptional tool to have available but for our specific requirements the safety benefit to be gained by avoiding personnel entry is invaluable.

Karen Cowie

Senior Integrity Engineer for the Athena FPSO, BW

The drone was able to fly down into the FPSO tank unaided and, by using Sky-Futures proprietary inspection technique, accurately navigate the internal space conducting both General Visual Inspections (GVI) and Close Visual Inspections (CVI) of the space.

Our world-class training facilities, including replicas of ship hull and oil rig confined spaces, provided us with the perfect conditions to recreate site conditions. Through our partnership with Flyability and close relationship with the vessel owner, we have spent thousands of hours developing and evolving the flying techniques, procedures, risk assessments, reporting tools and software which gave us the confidence to take a credible and reliable product to market.

The demonstrable safety benefits, combined with cost and time savings with this inspection technique speak for themselves but we look forward to continually raising the bar and increasing the integrity confidence grading.

Steve Moir

Engineering Manager, Sky-Futures

Confined Space Inspection

Sky-Futures Engineering Manager Steve Moir and Adrian Karl Chief Technology Officer (CTO) have spent the last twelve months developing both an inspection procedure and software to collect high quality, repeatable image data sets that allow clients to carry out confined space inspections without having to leave their desk. This revolutionizes the risk, speed and cost attached to FPSO tanks inspections by making them safer, faster and cheaper.

Current confined space inspection techniques require people to climb inside dangerous and potentially hazardous tanks. This process is fraught with danger, is time-consuming and can deliver low-quality data sets. The Sky-Futures and Flyability drone based solution allows inspections to take place without man-entry, significantly reducing risk to people and plant, whilst improving both the quality and repeatability of the data sets.

The image and video data collected in these inspections is then delivered through the Sky-Futures drone inspection software Expanse. A secure web-based application that allows clients to easily and intuitively access data from anywhere in the world and compare the latest inspections to previous data sets.

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