DrSUIT: Drone Swarm for Unmanned Inspection of Wind Turbines

Drone Swarm for Unmanned Inspection of Wind Turbines: Battery Health Management, Hybrid Comms and Operational Platform for Autonomous Offshore Windfarm Inspection in collaboration with University of Portsmouth, Ocean Infinity and Bentley Telecom

Dr-SUIT: The 18-months project focusses on a systems-of-systems approach, whereby an uncrewed vessel (USV) carries a swarm of drones, both autonomously operated and controlled from the remote onshore control centre (OCC), in order to inspect multiple turbines / blades simultaneously. According to the adaptive, real-time scheduling and routing model for coordinated interplay of USV(s) and UAVs, incorporating environment/weather and operational safety factors, Dr-SUIT allows for multi-sensor techniques, larger/further coverage per flight, and increased efficiency of offshore wind turbine inspection and maintenance. The autonomous operations are enhanced by the implementation of 5G and satellite communications technologies which are also essential for fast streaming large (terra-to-trillion bytes) inspection data from for example muons and multi-spectral sensors. Due to the offshore wind turbine’s location, the USV is specifically designed to host communication modules used to relay the data to remote processors/storages where 3D images of reconstructed blades are analysed for detecting/monitoring damages. Dr-SUIT also designed a battery recharging station on USV, allowing for full autonomy and drones for a quicker return to tasks.

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