Marshall Futureworx Utilizes Robotic Ecosystem for Offshore Wind Farm Inspection Services

Marshall Futureworx has launched Lilypad, a revolutionary autonomous ecosystem that uses multiple BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) UAVs to provide on-demand offshore inspection services for wind farms. The system is designed to enable wind farm operators to monitor the real-time performance of wind turbines and predict maintenance requirements more accurately.

With the use of artificial intelligence and navigational sensors, Lilypad will revolutionize the way operators are able to monitor wind farms. By reducing the requirement for offshore personnel during inspections, Lilypad minimizes the cost and impact on the environment while improving the frequency and quality of intelligence operators gain through remote inspections. Lilypad will also enable wind farm operators to extend the overall lifecycle of their turbines.

The UK government has set an ambitious target to achieve 50 GW installed offshore wind capacity by 2030 and potentially more than 100 GW by 2050. As government and industry continue to advance the UK offshore wind capability, new and scalable technologies such as Lilypad are required to inspect, maintain, and ensure the efficiency of wind turbines while minimizing costs to energy users.

Marshall Futureworx Managing Director, Kieren Paterson, explained that the increasing demand for secure and renewable energy has resulted in the need for innovative solutions that enable the installation and support of offshore wind infrastructure from initial construction through the life of projects. Lilypad, an offshore wind farm inspection service, provides scalable inspection capacity to support the significant growth and increasing remoteness of offshore wind farms. The system uses permanently resident autonomous UAVs that allow the company to provide on-demand and scheduled inspections timed to minimize the economic impact on wind farm operations. Lilypad decouples the cost of inspection from sea state, distance from shore, and seasonal considerations, and eliminates the need for offshore personnel during inspections.

Lilypad was developed with the support of two other industry leaders, ISS Aerospace and, through a memorandum of understanding signed in 2022. The Lilypad ecosystem will be showcased for the first time during the Global Offshore Wind Exhibition in London in June 2023.

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