VDOS Global LLC, a provider of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) inspection services and data collection, is the first company to receive approval by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to perform commercial inspection services using UAVs.
The FAA waiver allows VDOS Global to pioneer the practice of using UAV technology to perform offshore inspections for structures owned and operated by Shell throughout the Gulf of Mexico.
Collaborative efforts between VDOS and Shell will advance the use of robotics for safety, furthering the goal of reducing potential hazards to personnel. The collaboration will allow the companies to continue to push the limits of technology while forging a path that will support the proper and safe use of UAVs in the oil and gas industry.
With more than 3,500 potential inspection sites in the Gulf of Mexico alone, VDOS expects demand to perform inspections that are time- and cost-intensive for oil and gas producers. VDOS Global is expanding its operations, with plans to also operate in Canada and Alaska.
UAV technology utilizes high-definition and thermal imaging to detect faults, corrosion, and other signs of deterioration, while posing no additional risks to humans and without interrupting operations. Results can be interpreted immediately, allowing for the prompt reporting and handling of matters pursuant to an operator's safety management systems.