Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore (BV) reports it has completed its first ever survey by drone, carried out in the holds of a bulk carrier in an Italian port.
The scope was an intermediate survey on a bulk carrier and consisted of close-up inspections and ultrasonic thickness measurements (UTM) conducted by the drone in two cargo hold spaces. The required prior agreement from the flag authority was confirmed – all the more necessary as the ship is subject to the IMO Code for the Enhanced Survey Program (ESP).
Remote Inspection Techniques (RIT) were reflected in BV’s rules in 2019. The drone operator involved in this survey is certified by Bureau Veritas for both RIT and UTM.
Bureau Veritas has conducted tests and established ‘proof of concept’ for advanced inspection techniques to confirm that the technologies are providing safer and even better quality evidence to conduct and support the survey process while also offering benefits and advantages for ship-owners and ship-managers.
Compared to traditional survey practice, BV said immediate benefits include reduction in time and cost in needing staging, raft surveys or rope access specialists in combination with the required thickness measurement capabilities.