The use of an autonomous surveillance drone is a first for the nuclear industry
Mérignac, France, February 4, 2021 – Azur Drones, the European leader in autonomous surveillance and inspection drones, developed Skeyetech system to secure sensitive sites. After many deployments in ports, the Oil & Gas, Energy and Defence sectors, now Orano, the world leader in the recycling of used nuclear fuel from reactors worldwide, has called on Azur Drones to test the Skeyetech solution.
Protecting the population and the environment, an absolute priority for Orano
© Orano – Cyril Crespeau
Monitored and secured 24*7, the Orano site in la Hague is protected by specific, versatile teams capable of taking action in all types of intervention.
“La Hague is a site that has high levels of protection, with over 500 people dedicated to security and safety. It is constantly seeking improvements in these fields. As drones offer unrivalled reactivity and vision capacities, we quite naturally wanted to test this new tool as soon as the autonomous technology made it possible to simplify their use. “ explains Emmanuel Vial, the Orano La Hague Site and Material Protection Department manager.
Increased reactivity and effectiveness
Deployed a few weeks ago as part of a test phase, Skeyetech autonomous drone carries out daily surveillance and inspection missions on the La Hague site. It is directly controlled by the security teams, without any remote pilot training. Using their HD optical and thermal sensors, the drones provide accurate information by day and by night.
Skeyetech system results in considerable time-saving, in particular for the surveillance of remoter or difficult to access areas. It is faster for perimeter rounds (compared to rounds on foot or in vehicles) and increases reactivity when a doubt situation needs to be investigated.
© Azur Drones
“Considering that the La Hague site extends over more than 300 ha, the drone should make it possible to increase our reactivity to events. It could also allow us to optimise our use of the teams by assigning them to high added value tasks.” continued Emmanuel Vial.
An ideal solution for the nuclear sector
“We are proud to support Orano in automating its security and safety missions. The use of our tool by a major nuclear site is a great achievement for the entire Azur Drones team as it confirms the maturity of our autonomous system and our capacity to meet the highest safety standards.“ comments Jean-Marc Crépin, the Azur Drones CEO.
Currently, Skeyetech is one of the most advanced autonomous drone systems in the world in terms of performance, reliability and safety. Its design is based on aerospace standards (motor redundancy, vital equipment redundancy, pyrotechnical parachute, geo-caging system, etc.), as well as feedback from over 10,000 autonomous flights.
The Skeyetech drone is currently operated by over 150 users on the most sensitive sites in Europe and the Middle East.