Software developed to handle distortions in satellite images is optimizing the search for cracks in wind turbines

During winter 2013, using a new system built around software developed for space, the French company Cornis inspected 100 wind turbines in France. A turbine's three blades can now typically be scanned for problems in less than two hours – far faster than traditional inspection methods, which can take up to a whole day. And instead of climbing on the blades and working at risky heights, inspectors can now safely do the job directly from the ground. As Thibault Gouache, CEO of Cornis, explained, it is not possible to inspect turbine blades during the winter using standard manual techniques: “The days are too short, and the winds and cold make it impossible for climbers.” But the new approach changes that. For the first time, wind turbines can be inspected for cracks and monitored to track how well they are ageing, year-round, simply by snapping a few photos from the ground.

ESA
TEC
Energy
Infrastructure
Wind
Europe
Sharper images, better blades
Technology Transfer
Priel Manes; Cornelis Eldering