Inspectioneering Journal

Demystifying Drones and Offshore Inspections

By Philip Buchan, Commercial Director at Cyberhawk. This article appears in the July/August 2018 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.


The inspection and maintenance of offshore oil and gas platforms has grown to become an industry in itself, particularly as the number of mature assets around the world continues to grow. Many new access solutions have emerged over the years; some of which have fundamentally changed the face of inspection.

For example, where access to high or difficult to reach areas could once only be gained using scaffolding, rope access presented a faster, efficient, more cost-effective alternative. At one time an unknown, unrecognised access solution, rope access has become one of the most commonly used inspection access techniques in the offshore industry today.

More recently, developments in robotic technology have found their place in the industry; one such example of this is remotely operated vehicles (ROV) - underwater robots controlled by an operator above the water, used to scan and conduct work in subsea environments.

Offshore Rope Access

Like many new technologies, the ROV was developed and used originally by the military – not unlike it’s aerial counterpart, the drone.

The Rise of the Drones

Most of us are now familiar with the concept of drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS). Drones were born out of the military’s need for technology to support everything from covert surveillance to highly precise attacks.

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Posted by Gil Jaurigue on September 12, 2018
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