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UAV Inspections Allow Deepwater Wind to Continue to Be a Pioneer in Offshore Wind Development

Deepwater Wind recently carried out drone inspections at its Block Island Wind Farm, the U.S.’ first operating offshore wind facility.

The unmanned aircraft system (UAS) used for the inspection of the five wind platforms off Block Island, R.I., was developed by ULC Robotics, which used a marine vessel for takeoff and landing.

The aircraft was outfitted with a high-resolution DSLR camera to capture detailed imagery of the turbines’ support structure and welds. Engineers from Keystone Engineering Inc., which designed the foundations for Deepwater Wind, then used the drone-captured data to deliver an accurate and fast assessment of the platforms.

“This initial collaboration between Deepwater Wind and ULC Robotics resulted in a very successful set of flights and data,” comments Gregory Penza, president of ULC Robotics. “Our team of engineers and pilots are already building advanced prototype vertical takeoff and landing UAS that will be capable of servicing the growing offshore wind market. This new UAS will support the full life cycle of wind turbines from siting and environmental monitoring to construction surveys and emergency response.”

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