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Cyberhawk conducts boiler inspection

7th April 2016 - 13:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Cyberhawk Innovations has completed the inspection of a Bulgarian company’s commercial internal steam boiler using a remotely operated UAS, it announced on 5 April.

The inspection was carried out at an operational thermal power plant and the project included a visual inspection of all equipment for integrity and damage assessment.

UAS technology was selected as the preferred method of inspection for this project to reduce the safety risk posed to personnel working at height as well as to overcome restrictions associated with working in confined spaces. Usually this type of inspection is conducted by technicians who are suspended on ropes to inspect the boiler’s internal structure. Zero GPS signal inside the tank and dark conditions added to the difficulty of the task for the UAS pilots. 

According to the company, the inspection of the critical components was completed within a day, in comparison with rope access which would usually take between three to four days for the same workscope.

Philip Buchan, commercial director, Cyberhawk, said: ‘Our pilots undertake four levels of rigorous internal training and will typically require a number of years’ experience before being mobilised to our most challenging projects, such as offshore or internal inspection projects. The successful completion demonstrated the level of skill our pilots possess and the high quality reporting produced by our engineering team.’

He added: 'The boiler environment is very different from what we are used to; it’s a dark and dusty environment, presenting a whole host of additional operational challenges. The lack of GPS signal meant our pilot had to work with extra precision to produce the desired close visual inspection results.'

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