F2 - Use of autonomous systems for inspection

F - Operations, Management, Maintenance and Safety

Status - published
Last updated on: 07/12/2023


The use of autonomous systems for remote sensing and condition monitoring, together with AI and machine learning with remote resets and repairs present opportunities for advanced asset monitoring and management for ORE. This could potentially lower OPEX cost, whilst increasing availabilities of ORE farms and individual energy converters. Regulations and legislation of UAV systems are not yet developed, but are needed as autonomous systems are expected to be increasingly used for inspection and maintenance.


Clear regulation and legislation for UAV operations within offshore assets

Context and Need

Innovations are required to reduce the risk and cost of offshore interventions


Remote sensing and the use of autonomous vessels and robotics for inspection of ORE machines, e.g. turbine and structure, and for environmental monitoring is expected to become increasingly commonplace. There are technical challenges in developing systems and there is also the need to develop clear regulation and legislation for UAV operations within offshore assets.

Impact Potential

Autonomous operations and interventions have the potential to reduce the risk to offshore personnel, i.e. reduced OPEX, and H&S risk.

Reduction of legal uncertainty for AUV applications in the UK, potential for reduced OPEX.

Research Summary

Emerging area of autonomous vessels/robotics, prototype and trial status for ORE. The UK is amongst the leading countries in this field, e.g. UKRI ISCF initiative.

No dedicated legislation, some guidelines available, e.g. Maritime UK Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships UK Code of Practice (Voluntary Code) Nov. 2018

The following projects are related:

  • HOME-Offshore: Holistic Operation and Maintenance for Energy from Offshore Wind Farms (EPSRC, EP/P009743/1) - This project investigates the use of predictive modelling, robotics, advanced sensors and big data techniques to target interventions and thus improve safety, and reduce the cost, of the operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms. This will also help address the increasing shortage of skilled workers in this field.
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