Detecting with Drone Technology

Fish aggregating devices and debris regularly cause damage to PGS in-sea equipment. Faster detection and mapping of these obstructions can improve operational safety, by avoiding impact or collision. They also benefit local communities by minimizing damage to fishing equipment: loss of income from fishing would have a negative impact on local communities.

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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, are quickly becoming a regular tool in the maritime industry. Advanced drone technology can now provide a bird’s eye view of the area of operations, from over 30 km, to enable hazard avoidance and monitor the presence of fishing vessels and gear.

PGS is participating in the MarLander research and development project, co-financed by the Norwegian Research Council MAROFF program. Major contributors in the project include Maritime Robotics AS, the departments of Marine Technology and Engineering Cybernetics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU Amos), the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies (NOFO) and Equinor. The main aim is to develop a system for safe take-off and landing of small fixed-wing UAVs on offshore ships. PGS is facilitating field testing onboard one of our support vessels.

By improving aerial surveillance from vessels of various sizes to detect surface objects such as debris and fishing equipment, the MarLander project has the potential both to improve safety for PGS operations and also for local fishing communities, who are often otherwise unaware of the hazards and underestimate the danger of being close to seismic equipment.