Pioneering RPAS Blade Inspections at Sheringham Shoal

26 Nov 2017

For the first time ever on Sheringham Shoal offshore wind turbine farm, drones were used to inspect all 264 turbine blades across the 88 offshore locations. 

Sheringham Shoal, operated by Statoil, a key player in the UK’s offshore wind sector, partnered with Martek Aviation to carry out the inspections in August 2017. 200 UAS flights were deployed, taking 8 minutes each to collect the relevant data. This allowed Statoil to instantly assess the condition of their assets on site. 

Due to the advancements in UAS technology, the challenges faced with traditional inspection methods are being transformed into a safer and more streamlined data collection process. Previously, blade turbine inspections were performed from the ground using a simple camera for visual inspections or by risky human rope access. The use of drones has removed the requirement to climb the turbine by flying from the 40-meter vessel. 

Dale Symonds, Senior Engineer (Statoil – Sheringham Shoal) said: 

“Martek Aviation is a professional company providing world class wind turbine inspection services. The UAS high-resolution camera has allowed us to perform excellent quality inspections on all turbine blades providing us with confidence and clarity. The service has allowed us to become more efficient, safe and profitable with our wind turbine inspections moving forwards. 

Their on-site inspection team and back office support provided excellent customer service and their team experience demonstrates flight professionalism. I would have no hesitations in recommending Martek Aviation as the preferred means for conducting this type of inspection in the future and we are already taking about how we can continue working together across other Statoil wind parks.” 

Martek Aviation |