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An Approach for Integration of Transport Drones Into Offshore Wind Farms

Donkels, Alexander and Cain, Sebastian and Wilhelm, Jannik and Dippmar, John and Heil, Detlef and Janke, Jonas and Bruns, Tillmann (2023) An Approach for Integration of Transport Drones Into Offshore Wind Farms. DLRK Deutscher Luft- und Raumfahrtkongress, 2023-09-19 - 2023-09-21, Stuttgart, Deutschland.

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Costs of offshore wind farms (OWF) are largely driven by the service costs of the required maintenance. Current maintenance is either conducted via sea using special ships or helicopters. Both transport methods involve costly and thus limited available assets as well as specially trained personnel to operate them. This not only drives costs up but also limits the planning horizon of maintenance operations. Transport drones could be a complementing alternative to the traditional use of vessels and helicopters for the transport of servicing items and replacement parts to wind farms. For efficient and safe operations, drones must be properly integrated into the maritime domain and the OWF. The integration requires modifications of the drone and wind turbines as well as developing and evaluating operational concepts. The Upcoming Drone Windfarms (UDW) project between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the energy provider Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW) targets several aspects of these central challenges. This paper presents the main concept for the fictitious drone transport mission to OWF EnBW Hohe See which acts as exemplary scenario to develop the integration and operation concept. Special emphasis is on the automated interaction between the drone and the wind farm infrastructure for which according concepts for communication must be developed and implemented. The contributions to this topic are the identification of necessary infrastructure extensions to enable a reliable communication, the interaction between the drone and the wind farm, and a summary of necessary information which needs to be exchanged between both entities to ensure safe operation of the drone. The ongoing work will eventually result in flight tests with a drone in an onshore wind farm to demonstrate the concept and its technical feasibility. The development of the technical setup for these tests is presented.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/196952/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:An Approach for Integration of Transport Drones Into Offshore Wind Farms
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Date:September 2023
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Drone, wind farm, transport, offshore, energy, maintenance, communication
Event Title:DLRK Deutscher Luft- und Raumfahrtkongress
Event Location:Stuttgart, Deutschland
Event Type:national Conference
Event Start Date:19 September 2023
Event End Date:21 September 2023
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:Efficient Vehicle
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L EV - Efficient Vehicle
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Virtual Rotorcraft and Validation
Location: Braunschweig
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Flight Systems
Institute of Flight Systems > Unmanned Aircraft
Deposited By: Donkels, Alexander
Deposited On:22 Nov 2023 15:40
Last Modified:24 Apr 2024 20:57

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