Project name: Autonomous UAV inspection of wind turbine blades
Project acronym: AeroWind
Dates: 05/2020 - 11/2021
Total budget: 199.031,00 EUR
Funding: EU Horizon 2020 - ESMERA
Grant Contract Agreement: 780265
Website: http://www.esmera-project.eu/welcome/

 


Hundreds of thousands of hard to reach wind turbine blades must be inspected yearly in Europe and around the world and existing visual inspection methods are rather slow, inaccurate, costly and require complex coordination and logistics between UAV operators, turbine operators and in case of the offshore environment also marine coordination centers, support vessel crew, and others involved entities.

This project, which is built on previous research done by LARICS through FP7 project EuRoC, will result in:

i) implementation of novel methods for UAVs navigation and control, based on state-of-the-art technologies (e.g. stereo-vision systems, LIDARs, depth cameras),

ii) increase in the speed and efficiency of wind turbine inspection, and

iii) a significant decrease in the cost of inspection and downtime of wind turbines.

The project partner is Helvetis SA from Switzerland.


News

LARICS at Pometeno brdo wind farm

On July 13th and 14th LARICS team tested novel features and functionalities of AeroWind HMI at Pometeno brdo wind farm. Further testing included i) a wind turbine 3D model registration and matching, and ii) the trajectory planning and execution with increased inspection speed.

Author: Stjepan Bogdan
AeroWind gets in Phase II !

The AeroWind concept received a very positive outcome of the evaluation process and the ESMERA consortium decided for our project to proceed to the Phase II!

Our goal in Phase II is to dedicate more resources to the commercialization of the concept successfully demonstrated in Phase I, and to continue with the implementation of our approach with a wind turbine blades inspection while in operation.

 

Author: Stjepan Bogdan
Successful demonstration of the...

On March 17th LARICS and Helvetis SA successfuly demonstrated the functionality of the AeroWind concept to the ESMERA consortium. Due to travel restrictions, caused by pandemic, the consortium partners participated to the demonstration remotely over Teams platform. Two fully autonomous inspection flights have been successfully conducted. The final report of the experiment has been submitted and we are waiting for the evaluation report ... keeping fingers crossed to get in Phase II :)

Author: Stjepan Bogdan
LARICS at Pometeno brdo wind farm

On November 23rd and 24th LARICS team, together with our partners from Helvetis company, performed field tests as a part of the project activities. The goal of the experiments was to validate a method for autonomous inspection of wind turbine blades by an unmanned aerial vehicle. All autonomous flights have been successfully executed and developed method confirmed efficiency of the model matching and the trajectory following.

Check some nice photos in Detailed news!

Author: Stjepan Bogdan
Successful execution of preliminary...

During last week of Octobar and first week of November 2020 we successfilly performed preliminary experiments on mockup of a wind turbine at the University campus Borongaj. The mockup was made of wooden planks, with 'tower' height of 4 meters, and 'blade' lenght of 3 meters.

The main goal of experiments was to validate functionality of software modules responsible for i) point-cloud registration, ii) matching of point-cloud clusters and 3D CAD model of teh mockup, iii) trajectory planning, and iv) UAV control (trajectory tracking).

Experiments have showed that all components fullfilled requirements and the system is ready for testing in a real environment that is planned for the end of November 2020.

Author: Stjepan Bogdan