Ship design and engineering firm Foreship has employed the use of drones as a method of enhancing speed, safety and accuracy in draught surveys.

Foreship affirmed that draught surveys using drones have improved the accuracy of readings as well as the speed and safety of the survey process.

“The traditional way of taking draught readings is time-consuming, and there are always some risks when launching a manned boat from a vessel, such that it is best avoided when not absolutely necessary. Then there is the question of accuracy: it can be difficult for a surveyor to take precise measurements in waves, while the ship operator’s interest is for the process to be completed in as short a time as possible, for example,” explained Markus Aarnio, chief naval architect of Foreship.

“Drones are fast and highly manoeuvrable and can be controlled from a remote location. This eliminates the need for a survey boat, saving time and improving safety. The technology also allows greater accuracy, because even in choppy waters, the video footage captured by the drone allows us to determine the draught reading correctly,” Aarnio said.

He added that the procedure can be carried out at any port or shipyard where permission to operate drones can be obtained, and early discussions with classification societies suggested that receiving class approval will not be an issue.

“Our application of drones in performing draught surveys represents a new and highly focused way of applying digital technology to provide better accuracy in surveys,” Aarnio said.

Source: Seatrade Maritime