ABS, a leading provider of classification and technical services to the marine and offshore industries, announces the publication of the ABS Guidance Notes on Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). This comprehensive set of best practices, developed through extensive marine and offshore trials and testing, is introduced as industry considers the advantages of adopting aerial drone technology.
“UAVs provide a safer and more efficient platform for the next generation of surveys and inspections,” says ABS Vice President and Chief Surveyor Joseph Riva. “The release of these Guidance Notes demonstrates our leadership in addressing new technologies that support safer and less intrusive surveys.”
“This new guidance is an important element in advancing safety and consistency in the application of drone technology,” says Liberty Maritime Corporation Engineering Vice President Theodore S. Makrinos. “Close collaboration with the asset owner and ABS in the planning stage can help make the project more cost-effective and reduce some of the inherent safety-related risks during routine surveys and inspections.”
The ABS Guidance Notes on Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles take a two-pronged approach, laying out a certification scheme for UAV inspection service providers and outlining actionable advice on class surveys and non-class inspections. Recognizing that UAV technology can be a powerful tool that makes surveys less intrusive and reduces work-related risks, ABS provides a path to using these new remote inspection tools to support class surveys. The Guidance Notes also illustrate how a platform for data collection and data integration can be leveraged to better understand an asset’s profile to enable more informed decisions.
“Leveraging drone technology to support surveys and inspections can be very valuable to us and our industry,” says Ensco Vice President – Asset Management Sachin Mehra. “Working with ABS through various UAV trials and tests onboard our assets, we recognize the safety and efficiency advantages that come with a measured approach to utilizing drone surveys and inspections.”
“As we adopt more condition- and risk-based survey regimes, data from UAVs, wearables and sensors will play an increasingly important role,” says ABS Chief Technology Officer Howard Fireman. “ABS has shown itself to be a technology leader, providing practical advice that makes technology adoption safer and more valuable to the industry.”