The PORTwings project is evaluating how UAV drones can support HPA in two essential tasks within the port: when floods, accidents or other unexpected incidents occur, drones are on site much faster than road vehicles or port barges when it comes to video and photo material for a precise picture of the situation. All the important information can be forwarded digitally and directly to the right people so that the appropriate measures can be taken. This saving in time can make a big difference in an emergency.
At the same time, drones make the maintenance and expansion of the port’s infrastructure much more efficient. This goes for both inspections of buildings and facilities as well as for supporting processes and monitoring facilities which are difficult to reach or require a high level of effort, or are only accessible under dangerous conditions. As a result, HPA is currently examining the use of drones, for instance, to regularly check the slider position of piping on the wide-reaching grounds of the mechanical facilities for separating port sediment (METHA). The sensor data and aerial footage is streamed live to the drone centre, is integrated into a full image and forwarded to the respective specialists. The flying intervals are based on the individual process or condition of the object and facilities to be inspected. This ensures that the infrastructure is always available, resources are efficiently used and costs are minimised across various levels.
The Digital Port Twin project centres round the further use of HPA’s augmented and virtual reality projects. The digital twin aims to support the planning of future infrastructure projects by illustrating the complex procedures in a better, more reliable and efficient way. Application examples are the virtual display of HPA’s control centres as well as the integration of sensor data. All control centres shown in 3D and the digitalised processes can be reproduced in the Digital Port Twin and used for optimisation purposes. The project is divided into three phases: first, the digital infrastructure is created, followed by the scanning of port-relevant spaces and building structures. Afterwards, a concept is developed that illustrates and analyses the sensor data gained from the port area. In this way, solutions can also be transferred to other national and international ports in future.
RoboVaaS (Robotic Vessels as a Service) is an EU-financed research and development project. It centres round the way in which small unmanned vessels and underwater vessels can support the maritime economy in terms of coastal operations. It covers the following applications, for example:
• The capturing of topographic data on water beds (bathymetry data) by the use of bearing by autonomous drones
• The inspection of quay walls and ship hulls with underwater and aerial drones
• The prevention of ship stranding thanks to real-time bearing by drones
• The data collection of acoustic underwater sensor networks with drones
HPA works with a research consortium on this project, which includes Fraunhofer CML. HPA mainly helps with hands-on expertise and enables the consortium to have access to the port infrastructure for test campaigns.
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