EnBW and DLR explore use of passenger drones in offshore wind


Germany – EnBW and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have started a study on how to service offshore wind farms with logistics and passenger drones.

Given the numerous developments in urban air mobility aimed at expanding airborne transportation systems, as well as logistics companies’ investments in drone technologies, it makes sense to investigate offshore wind farms as a potential application.

Cranes would be unnecessary if cargo drones were used to transport tools and materials directly to the top of a 100-meter wind turbine. Transfers to the turbines and two-week shifts with overnight stays at sea would be unnecessary if service technicians traveled by air taxis, as passenger drones are known.

Drone operations requirements

The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Protection is funding the research project, which aims to investigate the legal framework for operating transport drones at offshore wind farms and identify any legal aspects of this application that have yet to be discovered, as well as any conflicts with existing regulations. The goal is to determine the conditions and steps required to launch cargo and passenger drone transport operations.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) lays out the groundwork for drone operations in wind farms and makes its findings on unmanned aerial vehicles public. The researchers are using a DLR drone to conduct experiments in a wind farm on land. Simultaneously, offshore operations are being developed as a model and closely examined in simulations.