Photographer completes 360-degree virtual survey for London Array

CHPV undertaking 360VR tour of the London Array offshore wind farm. Photographer and film maker Alan

CHPV undertaking 360VR tour of the London Array offshore wind farm. Photographer and film maker Alan ONeill, with camera, with some of the team that supported him Simon Snoding of London Array (back left) and Dean Stephenson (back right) and Paul Bird, both of James Fisher Marine Services. Picture: ALAN O'NEILL CHPV MEDIA SERVICES - Credit: Archant

A Lowestoft-based photographer and film maker has completed a 360-degree virtual survey for the London Array – the world's largest offshore wind farm.

Experienced offshore photographer, Alan O'Neill, captured more than 17,000 images covering every aspect of a wind turbine and offshore sub-station over four days.

Mr O'Neill, from photography and video specialist CHPV, which is based at OrbisEnergy in Lowestoft was assisted by a confined space and rescue team from James Fisher Marine Services (JFMS) as he accessed the inside of a monopile below water level.

'It took seven people and 30 bags of gear to get just me and my camera in position,' Mr O'Neill said.

'JFMS's people had to vent the space and install special access and rescue equipment so I could safely climb down about 20 metres.'

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Also present was a technician from London Array, with a dedicated crew transfer vessel standing by.

Martin Myhill Sisley, managing director of JFMS renewables services, said: 'Being able to work with London Array and support CHPV and Alan in the creation of an exceptionally beneficial virtual tool was a great opportunity. Utilising our skills, knowledge and experience, we were able to control and provide a safe environment for CHPV to work in and access all areas, ensuring optimum conditions.'

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Working its way progressively to the very top of the nacelle, CHPV took individual photographs of specific points of interest and 360-degree panoramas. The whole exercise was repeated for the offshore sub-station, with its labyrinth of compartments and passages.

With 17,000 photographs captured, CHPV then had the task of processing 128GB of data to stitch all the panoramas together, with the end product providing the most detailed documentation available of the assets.

Magnus Blomquist, of London Array, said: 'The London Array team has been delighted by how useful this tool has been from the outset. London Array started using it immediately upon delivery for O&M, engineering and inductions, and there will be much improved safety benefit to working offshore at London Array, making people familiar with the assets before even stepping foot onto a vessel.'

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