Exploiting the use of drones in the marine sector

A new European start-up company is creating a drones portal to better promote opportunities for marine businesses and investors.

Although the use of marine drones isn’t new, the Drone Major Group wants to capitalise on how drones can speed up marine monitoring and repair work in this fast-growing sector.

“As the range of applications for drones in the marine environment expands into exploration, environmental monitoring and intervention, the value to the industry is rapidly increasing,” said Robert Garbett, founder and CEO of Drone Major Group.

He said that drones are helping companies in the marine industry cut costs, reduce the human risk factor and save time.

European bodies are investing heavily in drones and in January 2017 the European Maritime Safety Agency issued the largest ever civilian maritime drone contract, valued at €67 million. Under the contract, drones will be used to assist with border control, search and rescue operations and monitoring pollution levels.

With the help of drones, areas of the ocean which have previously proved challenging to access are now within reach. Deploying drones enables researchers to capture accurate more reliable data, in a safer and more cost-efficient way.

Intel for example is championing the use of drones in marine research and working in partnership with Parley for the Oceans and Oceans Alliance. It is using ‘Snotbot’ drones to analyse the condition of whales and the environment.

And in offshore oil and gas development, Maersk Oil is using UAV’s to inspect vessels for detecting corrosion on underwater structures.

By Anne-Marie Causer

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