On 30th of November 2023 the kick-off meeting of AIRTuB-ROMI will take place in Vlissingen, NL. 17 partners will meet for the first time to start the 3-year AIRTuB joint project on Automated Inspection and Repair of wind Turbine Blades – Resident Offshore Monitoring & Inspection.

The primary goals of this project are to develop automated and ‘resident’ systems that monitor and inspect wind turbine blades. Building upon the technological advancements achieved in the AIRTuB 1 project, such as ultrasonic sensing and drone/crawler platforms, this project will further enhance and integrate these technologies into a resident system within offshore wind farms.

The result of this groundbreaking project will be “AIRTuB as a service – AAAS,” which incorporates:

  • Sensor-in-blade monitoring solutions: Developed and installed to detect real-time events and damages, these solutions will track blade conditions, enabling the drone-crawler platform to prioritize inspections. Major damages will be identified before they lead to failures.
  • Drone- and crawler inspection platform: This platform, equipped with sensors, will have a maximum take-off mass of less than 25 kg and a base station for installation on offshore wind farm turbines. The platform will primarily focus on inspecting the structural health of the blades, including post-lightning strike inspections for cracks and delamination.
  • Inspections: The inspections will encompass a combination of ultrasonic and visual methods, ensuring comprehensive assessments of blade conditions.
  • Resident Drone-Crawler Platform: Designed to operate within the wind farm without requiring on-site crew, this lightweight platform will offer automated charging and flight capabilities, enhancing inspection efficiency.
  • Data Communication: The system will ensure seamless data communication within the wind farm and with the turbine operator.
  • Digital Twin Technology: Information from inspections will be assessed using digital twin technology to determine the severity of any damage, facilitating timely repairs.

Inertia will be the Leader of WP3.1 dedicated to the R&D of the sensing platform, with focus and expertise in the embedded hardware/software co-design and wireless sensor data communication.