14 Aug 2023
 | 14 Aug 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

A Survey on Applications of Small Uncrewed Aircraft Systems for Offshore Wind Farms

Robert Sasse, C. Alexander Hirst, Eric Frew, and Brian Argrow

Abstract. Offshore wind farms are attractive energy sources due to the abundancy of wind resources close to population centers. Nevertheless, offshore locations present unique challenges for atmospheric observation and turbine inspection which are essential for wind farm design and maintenance. Small uncrewed aircraft systems (sUAS) are well suited for solving many difficulties inherent to offshore sites. In the past decade, sUAS have risen as a versatile and cost-effective platform for a large variety of scientific and commercial operations relating to atmospheric observation and infrastructure inspection. Most sUAS fall into one of two classes: fixed-wing or rotorcraft. Fixed-wing aircraft offer high endurance and range at the cost of constrained maneuverability. Rotorcraft are agile and user-friendly platforms, but offer limited endurance. We present a survey on the challenges and opportunities of utilizing fixed-wing and rotorcraft sUAS for wind resource assessment, operational observation, and inspection of offshore wind farms.

Robert Sasse et al.

Status: open (until 05 Oct 2023)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on wes-2023-87', Anonymous Referee #1, 17 Sep 2023 reply

Robert Sasse et al.

Robert Sasse et al.


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Short summary
Small uncrewed aircraft systems (sUAS) are becoming ubiquitous in a variety of fields including search and rescue, infrastructure inspection, large scale surveying, and atmospheric science. We believe there is potential for sUAS to support offshore windfarm projects. To this end we present this survey on academic literature which deploys sUAS in a variety of missions related to offshore wind farms: wind resource assessment, operational observation, infrastructure inspection.