Intel and Cyberhawk revealed the power of commercial drone technology to drive
business transformation by successfully inspecting a gas terminal in St
Fergus, Scotland. Inspection with the Intel® Falcon™ 8+ system, instead
of conventional methods, reduced employee risk, increased speed and
accuracy, and saved $1 million to $5 million per day in potential
production loss during the mission.
Malcolm Connolly (left) and Chris
Fleming of Cyberhawk, an aerial inspection and surveying company, use an
Intel Falcon 8+ system during the inspection of an operating gas
terminal in St Fergus, Scotland. Unmanned aerial vehicle systems reduce
employee risk, increase speed and accuracy, and save money that would be
lost during a potential production closure.
Traditional inspections of this scale
require facility shutdowns, which could take days to weeks to bring the
plant offline and make accessible for workers, who rely on harnesses and
cable equipment to hang midair while manually collecting information on
the structure. “In the last 20 years that I’ve worked in the inspection
industry, drones are the biggest single change we’ve seen to-date,” said
Chris Fleming, Cyberhawk CEO.
Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies allow for large and complex
facilities to be inspected while in operation, capturing accurate and
precise data to better inform business decisions on asset maintenance.
Drones are an important tool for the oil and gas industry, and the Intel
Falcon 8+ system delivers reliable performance and best-in-class safety,
especially critical when faced with challenging environments or
in Scotland, the devices have to withstand strong winds,” Fleming said.
“The Intel Falcon is perfect for that because it has the highest wind
tolerance and the best power-to-weight ratio of any platform on the
The Intel Falcon 8+ drone deployed for this mission captured 1,100
images, translating to 12GB of data, over the span of one to two days.
This would have typically taken a three-man team three days to achieve.
These analytics can be used for asset maintenance including
pre-maintenance inspection, repair work, resource planning, maintenance
prioritization and more.
“The way we conduct inspections is changing,” said Anil Nanduri, vice
president and general manager within Intel’s New Technology Group.
“Drones make inspection workflows faster, cheaper and safer. The
technology is mature enough to be adopted into the workflows of our
Commercial drones address a range of real-world concerns by providing
safe, scalable access to hard-to-reach locations.