Freeport of Riga testing underwater drone technologies

Freeport of Riga

The Freeport of Riga is trailling small compact drones that can be used to collect accurate data on the technical condition of its underwater infrastructure.

The drones are able to reach depths of up to 150 meters and are also able to automatically generate analysis reports.

Latvian-based company DronePlan is currently testing its underwater drone remote control software that could be used in the construction, maintenance, and inspection of hydro-technical structures in the future.

“Many of the world’s ports are active players in the field of innovation ecosystem,” said Viesturs Zeps, Chairman of the Freeport of Riga. “In recent years we have also encountered more and more new companies in the Port of Riga, which offer various newly created technologies for solving challenges related to the operation and management of the port. We are open to such cooperation.

“We have tested drones for environmental monitoring, technologies for remediation of historical pollution, more efficient traffic organisation, reduction of CO2 emissions as well as other innovative solutions to improve the quality and efficiency of port services, which in turn can enhance the port’s competitiveness both regionally and globally.

Viktors Bikovs, Chairman of the DronePlan Board, added “The use of drone technologies fosters better, faster and safer performance of certain underwater works – drones can operate perfectly in winter conditions when drivers find it difficult or impossible to work, as well as to manoeuver at hard-to-reach underwater objects and structures.

“Drones can also provide support function in the work of industrial drivers in other areas. At present, drones can be equipped with special devices that would allow them to operate autonomously 24 hours a day.”

Until now, the inspection of berths in the port has always been carried out by industrial drivers, these services are expensive and often dependent on the weather. Therefore, the Freeport Authority is considering and analysing other solutions for the implementation of these tasks.

The Freeport of Riga has previously tested a new IT tool with T-Systems International and Detecon International to cut CO2 emissions and noise pollution from road freight transport.

Announced in November 2020, the port said in a statement that the Low Carbon Mobility Management (LSMM) system makes it possible to track, control and prevent air pollution from road transport, cut CO2 emissions and noise pollution in the environment and improve traffic safety.

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