A Brave New World: How drones change the Oil & Gas Industry.
Drones (UAV – Unmanned Air Vehicle – is the more appropriate definition) are becoming ever more popular: they are widespread in many different markets and in the Oil & Gas industry are exploring ever new and challenging frontiers.
Since 2013 small drones like Insitu (a company incorporated by the huge aerospace giant Boeing) “ScanEagle” are scanning the Alaskan chilling water to track icebergs or are loitering in the warmer skies of the Gulf to monitor the safety of the off-shore platforms. Another Oil & Gas related mission is deploying these technology marvels as “hurricane hunters” in order to sense the first advices of devastating hurricanes. The US DoC NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – is employing in this role the Raytheon “Coyote”, another small UAV with a wing span shorter than 2 meters but contained (with wings folded) in a tube smaller than 30 cm in diameter and less than 5 kg in weight.
These UAVs are invaluable assets for the Oil & Gas platforms because can warn of the dangers involved in weather events and assure safety and security of hugely expensive equipment: they have advanced sensors able to detect night and day the tiniest suspect vessel and due to the sophisticated communication network are able to immediately launch an alarm.
Only imagination is the limit to this “brave new world” revolution.