Successful oil & gas operations should be safe, efficient, and streamlined - without unnecessary downtime.
Pitting defect highlighted by the oblique lighting system.
Substantially reduce the cost of oil and gas inspections while maintaining workplace safety
Collect reliable data
Make informed decisions on maintenance requirements and the frequency of inspections
Mechanical integrity analysis
Fly in hard-to-reach confined spaces
Access to advanced drone capabilities for a range of applications in confined and hazardous spaces
Offshore Rigs, Jackups, and FPSOs
FCC and cokers
Chimneys / smokestack
Capture every corner of the most confined assets, from a safe location with drone asset management
Use Flyability indoor drones to assess the integrity of oil and gas assets and, if required, plan for repairs before vulnerabilities become a problem.
What our customers say about Elios
“Among the many use cases we identified for robotics at Total, confined spaces inspection is probably the one that gave us the best satisfaction. This has been possible thanks to the Flyability Elios, which the Total inspectors pilot day after day. Whether for planned or unplanned shutdowns, this is a fast decision-making tool which enhances our safety and the availability of our assets.”
Interested to learn more?
Subscribe to receive more stories about Flyability drones in the Oil & Gas industry.
Frequently Asked Questions
In order to operate a drone, do you have to be an engineer, an NDE inspector or a piping inspector?
No, it is not required, but you should always be aware of the regulations concerning commercial drone operations in your area before flying. Anyone who has completed the introductory training can fly an Elios drone. Traditionally our clients work in teams of two when performing inspections, using one pilot and one inspector who can analyze the data on the spot. With this approach, each person can focus on their area of expertise.
How do I train my team?
Flyability has put in place a complete certification and training program that takes drone pilots from discovering the particularities of piloting a drone indoors BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight), to being able to perform the most difficult indoor inspection missions. The certification tests the pilots on their ability to assess the difficulty of a mission and puts their own piloting skills into perspective. Our training courses are defined and provided by professional pilots with extensive mission track records using Elios drones. Every bit of theory you will learn is backed-up by practical exercises that are directly applicable to your everyday job as a pilot. Operators following our training courses receive a valuable professional certification, reflecting their proficiency at using Elios drones.
Do I need to adapt my Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)?
Asset owners are responsible for deciding whether to modify their SOPs to accommodate the use of drones. Nevertheless, SOPs provide a method to communicate the process changes to employees. As they no longer rely on humans to enter confined spaces for inspection, most of our customers update SOPs to take the drone into consideration.
Can a drone be used as a formal inspection tool?
Several clients have conducted formal inspections using our products that have been approved by classification societies. You can read more about an example in this article: https://www.flyability.com/articles-and-media/can-a-drone-be-used-as-a-formal-inspection-tool
However, it’s important to note that drones can't permanently be recognized as a formal inspection tool, since inspectors are agnostic to specific tools. Rather, inspectors can approve a given tool in a specific inspection when they see the data it can produce.
How do you process inspection data?
Once your mission is complete, you can simply connect Elios to your computer using the USB port fitted on the top of the drone to import all data into Inspector, our companion software.
After retrieving the flight data, you have immediate access to a high resolution point cloud of your assets that you can visualize in Inspector. You can then review your POIs and document your inspection by taking notes in the POIs, making measurements, and exporting your data as a report.
Does Flyability keep your data safe from cyber attack?
As long as the user does not manually connect to a WiFi network, there is no physical link between the Elios system and the internet—ensuring complete data safety.
In addition, Flyability only collects data in one instance: when the drone is armed while the tablet on the GCS is connected to the internet. In these cases, we collect the unit ID—which is encrypted and can only be read by Flyability—as well as the time of flight and the firmware version. Operators are notified of this data collection and have the option to opt-out.
For more information on data safety, please consult the following link:
Are drones intrinsically safe?
ATEX is the European certification given to equipment tested and approved to be intrinsically safe.
Elios drones are not ATEX rated nor are they intrinsically safe. We believe it is not possible for a drone to be intrinsically safe (none to date).
To fly in an environment that might require intrinsically safe equipment, you will need to perform a procedure to neutralize the environment,as you would do when performing a manned inspection. Despite this, you still have a lot to gain when performing the inspection with a drone instead of a human. For example, you can use nitrogen to neutralize the asset and send in a drone right away. If you do the same for a manned inspection, the inspector will have to carry a breathing apparatus and you will need to deploy bystanders, which is much more complicated,dangerous, and costly.
For more information on this subject, please follow read this article:
Can I fly Elios drones outdoors?
Flyability drones can fly outdoors in ATTI mode to inspect outdoor assets. However, it is not recommended to do so as it is much harder to control the drone in ATTI mode. This use case is reserved to experienced pilots only. Keep in mind that flying outdoors is subject to airspace regulations, unlike indoor flights.
Should I insource or outsource drone-based inspections?
It depends on your usage and the regulations in place. Some industries may require a qualified and certified inspector to perform an inspection. In case you would like to outsource, there are service providers that use Elios drones all around the world.
For more information on deciding whether to insource or outsource for your drone needs, consult the following links:
What is the size of the smallest defect that Elios drones can spot?
With Elios 2 & 3, you can capture images with a Ground Sampling Distance of 0.18 mm/pixel when standing at 30 centimeters from the surface you inspect. With this accuracy, you can easily spot defects that are a few millimeters wide, such as small cracking patterns in the walls or a hole inside of a silo.
Learn more about the visual data you can collect with the Elios 2:
Is dust a blocker for drone-based inspections?
Industrial indoor spaces are often full of dust, which makes First-Person View aircraft navigation difficult. Elios drones feature a dust-proof lighting system that allows you to fly inside dirty, dusty places without losing sight of your objective. And for extreme cases, you can navigate inside assets relying solely on the 3D Live Map created by LiDAR and displayed instantly in Cockpit.