Switzerland-based Sulzer Schmid has launched a new plug-and-play solution that enables most off-the-shelf DJI drones to perform semi-autonomous wind turbine blade inspections.
Sulzer’s 3DX SmartPilot has been developed specifically for wind farm inspection campaigns in geographies where complex logistical barriers make site access difficult.
Stressing that the highly portable blade inspection solution can be brought onsite easily and deployed immediately, Tom Sulzer, Sulzer Schmid cofounder and CEO, explains:
Being able to use off-the-shelf drones makes the 3DX SmartPilot solution particularly well-suited for inspections of wind farms operating in very remote locations but also for ad-hoc inspections. It’s like carrying out inspections from a backpack. Deployable worldwide, our new plug-and-play solution is highly flexible and will overcome most logistical and customs restrictions. Once onsite, it can be deployed instantly.
Highlighting compatibility with most off-the-shelf DJI drones, the company says its solution is designed to deliver semi-autonomous inspections carried out by a drone pilot with the assistance of the 3DX software to ensure optimal flight paths. Once the inspection data has been gathered from a wind farm, it is uploaded, processed, and analyzed in the 3DX Blade Platform, which is an advanced data management system for blade inspections.
Sulzer points out that one of the major attractions of the solution is its cost-effectiveness. He sums up:
This is the most economical solution because it only requires lower-cost hardware without a proprietary payload. At the same time, it delivers all the value of the 3DX Blade Platform with no compromise on data processing and smart analytics. Thanks to this latest innovation, we can now ensure that the data of wind assets, no matter where they are located, is captured cost-effectively within Sulzer Schmid’s stringent quality standards.