Air Control Entech and Cygnus Instruments to tackle UAV-mounted UT

September 17th, 2017

ACE (Air Control Entech) is continuing to use the highly versatile nature of its technology to address industry requirements; in Q3 2017, ACE will tackle taking unmanned point UT readings at height – via a UAV platform.

One of the key reasons ACE is seeing the early successes it has to date is due to this young, agile business forming serious partnerships with diverse, successful companies and organizations. By collaborating with ultrasonic instrumentation and test equipment manufacturer Cygnus Instruments, both companies aim to bring a revolutionary new technology to the ultrasonic NDE sector.

ACE received grant funding from The Oil & Gas Technology Centre in June 2017 to research and develop cost effective inspection solutions utilising drone technology. One of the early technologies on the development roadmap is Ultrasonic inspection from a UAV.

Cygnus Instruments is well known around the globe for its expertise in addressing specialist ultrasonic thickness applications. By working together, the ACE-Cygnus partnership hopes to overcome the issues presented in this unique challenge that the industry wants addressing by using ACE’s UAVs. The ACE UT UAV project, supported by Cygnus’ UT expertise, aims to:

  • Minimise the risk of injury and risk to life
  • Increase the coverage of UT points on areas of difficult access
  • Improve the quality of data collected when conducting UT at height
  • Maximise cost savings to operators

The ACE Cygnus partnership is highly complimentary, with both companies employing specialist technologies and bringing unique subject matter expertise to the union; by combining the revolutionary new ACE UT UAV platform and Cygnus’ ultra-robust and lightweight electronics and transducers, the two companies will deliver some real and tangible benefits to the industry.

Cygnus Instruments is also the go-to company for subsea [and ‘Zone 0’ Ex] ultrasonics globally; this creates an avenue for ACE to explore the use of a new generation of unmanned vehicles to address specialist applications within these areas too.

Cygnus and ACE have a common customer, the oil and gas industry. With installations that require a complex mix of inspections and measurements, oil and gas companies have much to gain from such partnerships. By jointly pursuing technological advancement across multiple platforms and applications, complex and laborious exercises will be simplified.

Managing Director of Aberdeen based Air Control Entech said:

“The exclusive partnership between ACE and Cygnus represents everything that the company believes in. We had initial conversations with David Crosthwaite-Eyre (Cygnus’ Commercial Director) in March of 2017, from the outset the two companies had a vision. Cygnus has proven, over a period of 35 years, that their UT equipment is class-leading. We are absolutely delighted to be working with David and his team and look forward to bringing the technology face to face with operators in Q3 2017.”

David Crosthwaite-Eyre, of Dorset-based Cygnus Instruments, has been

“observing an ever increasing number of enquiries for Cygnus’ UT equipment to be mounted on to UAVs for the last 24 months”.

He continued to say that

“when ACE approached us with a completely unique and novel take on how to address this particular industry requirement of taking unmanned, remote UT readings at height, we knew almost immediately that they were a special, agile organisation. One that will get this job done the right way – and one that we are very happy to devote our resources to”.

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