DNV GL tests drones and addresses cyber security

Jun 10 2016

Class society DNV GL recently completed the first production surveys using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone, on board the 2003-built, 24,000 dwt Carl Büttner managed chemical tanker ‘Apollo’ in Bremerhaven.

Two DNV GL surveyors used the drone to inspect 14 tanks over a period of two and a half days.

“The advantage of using a drone over conventional staging inside the tank is absolutely clear,” said Jochen Huhn, marine superintendent and chief security officer, Carl Büttner Shipmanagement. “Eliminating the risk of damage to the coating from staging means the drone survey is worth it, even before we factor in the time saved by this method. We were also all very impressed by the quality of the video and the details the drone was able to obtain in the inspection. We would certainly be interested in using this method more in the future and I am interested to see how the technology develops over the next few years.”

“The success of the first drone production survey performed by a classification society shows how our investment in developing modern class solutions to benefit our customers is paying off,” said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO DNV GL – Maritime. “Over the next few years, we will continue to work on expanding the ways the drones can be used and the number of stations where we can offer this service. This is a very promising beginning and one that is already showing a significant benefit in terms of time and costs saved.”

DNV GL has now carried out several tests using drones for the inspection of cargo tanks or holds in a large oil tanker, a chemical tanker and a bulk carrier, both in Europe and in China.

In another initiative announced at Posidonia, Tsakos has selected DNV GL to assist in preparing a cyber security management system for its fleet and onshore facilities – the first such management system developed by a shipping company in co-operation with DNV GL’s Advisory Services.

The Greek shipping organisation will implement a comprehensive system of safeguards and procedures to protect their assets from cyber risks.

“We wanted to assure our charterers and customers that our systems would be adequately protected from cyber risks by implementing the highest standards of cyber security on board our vessels and on shore. DNV GL’s proactive attitude in addressing such newly arising industry challenges, its clear vision and commitment to the highest standards assists us in achieving this,” said Sokratis Dimakopoulos, deputy managing director of Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement (TCM), the ship management arm of the Tsakos Group.

Recently published guidelines on marine cyber security by the round table of international shipping associations had called upon shipping companies to further enhance the security of their IT systems.

One of their key recommendations was for shipping companies to develop a cyber security management system to ensure that they not only have a broad overview of the cyber and information security risks which may occur during their assets’ lifecycles, but also maintain sustainable and resilient procedures to protect vessels and their systems against cyber threats.

Tsakos has been working with DNV GL to create an information security management system, which will provide a comprehensive framework for assessing cyber vulnerabilities and implementing the necessary measures for mitigating risks and responding to potential system breaches. “We follow a pragmatic approach based on a thorough risk and gap analysis. The resilience of the resulting procedures and management system will then be verified through penetration testing carried out by the DNV GL Group company Marine Cybernetics,” explained Nikolaos Kakalis, manager of DNV GL Maritime R&D and Advisory in Greece.

“To further enhance the preparedness of our company for dealing with potential cyber security threats effectively, we are planning to take the next step and apply for certification to the information security management systems (ISO 27001) standard,” added Nikolaos Palaiologos, TCM’s IT manager.  

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