Sea Technology

APR 2017

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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www.sea-technology.com April 2017 / st 41 I n 2015, the company RIMS BV (Robotica In Maintenance Strategies) was founded by Da- vid Knukkel, a senior mainte- nance consultant in the mari- time industry. The mission of RIMS is to step away from tra- ditional maintenance strategies as much as possible and use the Industrial Revolution 4.0 tech- nologies to make maintenance safer, cheaper and less time consuming. One of the targets of RIMS was to find a solution for the inspections of enclosed spaces. The advantages of drone inspec- tions for maritime applications include: reduced preparation time to inspect an enclosed space; elimination of human in- juries and casualties; high cost- efficiency as scaffolding is not required; and data gathered can be reviewed and evaluated dur- ing and after the inspection. After scouting technology from technical universities and companies in the Netherlands, a solution was found during a presentation at the University of Lausanne by a company called Flyability, the developer of Elios, a drone surrounded by a cage, with a video and thermal camera on top of the drone. Elios fits in a 400-mm sphere and weighs 720 grams (including battery, payload and protection). There are five arrays of LEDs for each direction (front, top and bottom), and flight time with all LEDs on is approximately 10 min. The flight system material is carbon fiber, aeronautical grade aluminum. Wireless communication is at 24 GHz. The pow- er comes from a lithium polymer battery at 2,800 mAh, 11.1 V and 31.08 Wh, with charging time of approximately 1 hr. The camera captures video at 30 fps and thermal images of 60 by 120 pixels at 9 fps. The drone is operated via DJI remote controller, and flight can be monitored via An- droid tablet. Testing, Advantages, Challenges The performance of Elios's controls, data transfer and visibility was tested in a bal- last tank of a vessel in August 2016. RIMS initiated a pilot with the aid of the Rotterdam Offshore Group repair yard, ship owner RollDock, DNV GL and Flyability. This perfor- mance test was successful, so RIMS decided to purchase the drone and start offering in- spection services using Elios. A second test was carried out by RIMS in November 2016 on the Scylla, a jack- up vessel with large double bottom tanks, with two large compartments from port side to starboard and five sections from fore to aft. The tanks were dry and clean as the vessel was new and the tanks had not been used yet. We learned several lessons from this test. One lesson was that flying through the manholes requires experience. Therefore, we built our own ballast tank to practice. Another issue was that navigating in tanks with many compartments is a challenge, which RIMS partly solved with some hard- ware (for example, a tablet as a second observation screen for an observer) and the establishment of certain working procedures. There were many ballast lines and cable trays in the tank that were easy to overlook, and the cage surround- ing the drone proved to be ideal for protection. Data transfer and controls worked properly, even at the tanks furthest away. At those tanks, we experienced a half Deploying Drones for Maintenance Strategies Elios Drone Performs Remote Inspection By David Knukkel David Knukkel founded RIMS BV in 2015.

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