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DNV GL flight not cleared for take-off

DNV GL flight not cleared for take-off
But for the Baltic Exchange’s prized chandeliers, artwork and vintage ship models, guests attending a special DNV GL press event and dinner in London yesterday would have witnessed a test flight of the class society’s new drone, used to assist in hull surveys by inspection of remote structural components such as cargo tanks.

Drone pilot Piotr Brygiert, principal approval engineer with DNV GL-Maritime’s aptly named classification flying squad based in Gdansk, had brought the drone over specially from Poland. Given the Baltic’s concern over its venerable premises and artefacts, however, he had to content himself with a static demonstration of the model’s components and assembly.

The drone requires two operators, Brygiert explained, one to fly the device and the other to monitor the video feed, streamed to a tablet for both real-time viewing and recording for later review and documentation purposes.

A modified off-the-shelf drone was used in tests carried out on the inspection of two DNV GL-classed vessels at Remontowa Shipyard in December, the class society emphasising that the drone only entered cargo tanks after they was gas-free and certified for entry. DNV GL is now developing a custom-built drone, as well as special guidelines for the performance of surveys using drones – or mobile sensor platforms as they are generically termed.

Equipped with a powerful headlight, the DNV GL drone is able to produce a video of sufficient quality for initial inspection purposes, thereby saving the time and cost of special surveys as well as ensuring surveyor safety. In the event of any damage being detected, a traditional close-up survey may still be required, points out the class society.