Schiebel, together with operation partner Nordic Unmanned, demonstrated the cargo delivery capability of the CAMCOPTER S-100 to an offshore platform owned by Norwegian energy company Equinor.
Described by the Austrian UAV maker as a world-first, the exercise simulated the scenario of an urgent requirement lifeboat system spare parts at Equinor’s active Troll A gas production platform in the North Sea.
“Development is rapid, and we see a huge potential within drone technology that could transform the way we operate, both under and above the sea surface,” said Arne Sigve Nylund, Equinor’s executive vice president for development and production, Norway. “Equinor aims to lead the way in utilizing new technology on the Norwegian continental shelf.”
The CAMCOPTER S-100 travelled just under 100 kilometers from the shore in Mongstad – where the spare parts were 3D-printed – and back. The flight took about one hour, at an altitude of approximately 5,000 feet.
The trial also included a successful Search and Rescue (SAR) mission, locating a dummy in the water using a L3 Harris Wescam camera. After the UAV supplied the spare parts, it carried out an inspection of the platform before heading back to Mongstad.
“Drones could reinforce safety, boost production efficiency and contribute to lower CO2 emissions from Norwegian oil and gas,” said Nylund. “Drones will also play a role as we shape new energy solutions on the Norwegian shelf.
The CAMCOPTER S-100 has logged around 70,000 flying hours over a range of operations within the defence and coast guard services. The drone is more than four metres long and weighs in excess of 100 kilograms. It has a cruising speed of more than 150 km/h and it can carry cargo weighing up to 50 kg.
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