Demcon unmanned systems (DUS) is one of the parties involved in the smart maintenance innovation project AIRTuB (Automatic Inspection & Repair of Turbine Blades). On September 13 the kick-off of the project took place. In this project an autonomous drone is developed that is able to drive and fly and can execute inspection and maintenance activities on offshore wind turbine blades in the field. The goal is to increase energy production, reduce maintenance and management costs and improve safety.
For this project Demcon is working with several research, educational and commercial organisations within the offshore windsector. Fedor Ester, managing director of Demcon unmanned systems: “We provide the GPS-denied navigation technology for the system. The drone can use this to fly to the wind turbine on the basis of GPS. Once there, the drone can observe the desired blade, land on it, position itself and navigate the blade for the work. This part of the system will be integrated as a module in an existing drone for development and testing purposes. We work closely with the Dutch Aerospace Center and the HZ University of Applied Sciences.”
The AIRTuB project is part of World Class Maintenance Fieldlab Zephyros, that focuses on optimising maintenance for energy technologies. The ultimate goal is to prevent unnecessary stagnation of wind energy production and to limit the need for on site maintenance. The project was awarded a grant earlier this year and will last a total of three years.
For more information about the project you can read this article.