Development by the HOIS JIP of guidance for UAV/UAS based remote visual inspection of oil and gas facilities

ESR Technology’s NDT Director, Steve Burch, recently presented at the 56th annual British Conference on Non-Destructive Testing, 5-7 September 2017 at the International Centre in Telford. There were four parallel technical sessions covering a broad range of NDT technologies and applications. The Materials Testing 2017 Exhibition ran alongside the conference with over 70 companies exhibiting.

Steve chaired a session on digital radiography and, in a separate session, gave a technical presentation which described the development of the HOIS joint industry project’s guidance for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) based remote visual inspection of oil and gas facilities.

Unlike most other forms of NDT currently applied within the oil and gas industry, external remote visual inspection (RVI) is not covered in any detail by international standards nor are there any recognised guidance documents on image quality available. As a result, it is difficult for asset owners or operators to gauge the effectiveness of RVI for its intended applications, which frequently involve usage of the arising imagery for engineering assessments of the integrity status of the parts inspected.

The aim of the HOIS work is to develop trial based guidance on usage of UAV (drone) based external RVI, with the main focus on the minimum image quality of the images generated. While some of the guidance covers the UAV field in general, more detailed recommendations are being formulated on the minimum image quality of the imagery needed for three of the most frequent UAV applications within the industry (flare stack tips, close visual inspection equivalence and coating assessments). The guidance will achieve more standardisation in the quality of the end deliverables (i.e. the images).

Steve’s presentation is available for download here. It describes image resolution which is the most important single measure of image quality. The presentation describes how to measure image resolution, what factors affect resolution and how they are related which leads to minimum requirements for the three most frequent applications given above.

We have placed cookies on your computer to help make this website better.

More details can be found in our privacy policy.