DEME Offshore and Sabca have worked together to test out search and rescue drones at the Rentel offshore wind farm in the North Sea. The trials come as the drones are readied for autonomous surveillance, rescue, and detection missions in the near future.

The drone trial is the first commercial, cross-border, beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operation at an offshore wind farm. Rather than just using a quadcopter-style drone, the trials also saw a fixed-wing drone hit the sky.

The fixed-wing drone is a long-endurance model that took off 35 km away from the wind farm on the land and is expected to be used for surveying and surveillance operations.

The quadcopter will take off from a platform that is a part of the wind farm and will be used for inspections and cargo flights from the substation and vessels. This is also the drone used on search and rescue operations and to drop a buoy if someone has gone overboard.

Bart De Poorter, general manager DEME Offshore,…