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Avetics gets LR approval for remote inspection drones

Singapore-based Avetics Global has received Lloyd’s Register certification as approved service supplier to conduct surveys using Remote Inspection Technique (RIT) on the structure of ships and mobile offshore units by via unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAV) and attending surveyor for close-up survey.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"} As one of the world’s busiest shipping hubs, the deployment of drone surveys in Singapore will locally enable shipowners in Singapore’s waters to quickly get close-up survey done without the need for docking. 

“We are pleased that we are the first Singapore based drone company to go through Lloyds Register qualification process and obtain this certification. We have been spending more than 3 years enhancing our drone techniques for use in a Ship’s confine space,” said Weiliang, founder at Avetics Global. “Our next step is to use software to enhance usefulness of the images and make it available to shipowners instantly”

In a recent project involving inspection of a few ore carriers over 200,000 DWT, Avetics Global was able to inspect the transverse frames of all water ballast tanks and void spaces for signs of crack, structural deformation, coating breakdown and corrosion with attending class surveyor in just 4 days. The cost savings can be as high as 90 per cent compared to traditional method of dry docking and erecting scaffolding. 

However, obstacles still remain as drones are still limited to visual inspection.  One of the requirements for class survey is thickness measurement which still has to be done manually. “We looked at a few thickness measurement technology, but none of them is up to our standards in terms of reliability of results when used with a drone. We will continue to monitor development of thickness measurement technologies and integrate it to a drone at the appropriate time” 

 With improvement to drone autonomy and sensor technologies, Avetics Global aims to completely remove the need for human entry into a ship’s confine space in 5 years’ time.   {/mprestriction}

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    As part of the framework agreement, the two organisations will collectively establish and enhance the current body of knowledge for marine autonomy. This combination of skills, expertise and experience will be built on to bring clarity to the requirements for the assurance of autonomy and assist stakeholders in realising the potential of these systems in the market.

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    By partnering with NPL, LR will enhance the delivery of its services and assurance in marine autonomy and gain access to a wide range of knowledge and expertise developed in other aligned domains.

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    NPL’s head of Digital, Neil Stansfield, said: “The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is excited by the opportunities presented in this collaboration with Lloyd’s Register, where the two organisations complementary capabilities are well suited to addressing the challenge of assuring marine autonomous systems. This work represents an important part of the UK’s national programme to deliver confidence in the intelligent and effective use of data, which is being conducted with a range of partners across sectors and with a specific focus on autonomous systems. NPL is applying a combination of measurement skills, expertise and experience, in areas as diverse as sensor characterisation, data quality and AI validation, to support partners in the development of new tests, standards and regulations for the safety of autonomous systems. This collaboration with Lloyd’s Register will help ensure the UK maintains its global leadership in the marine services Sector, where the autonomous shipping sector is expected to represent a global $52bn market opportunity by 2050.”

    Tim Kent, LR technical director for Marine and Offshore said: “This collaboration with the NPL will allow LR to improve our own processes, knowledge and competency to better support our clients with marine autonomy projects. We are delighted to be partnering with NPL given its domain knowledge on autonomy from the connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) domains.”

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