Tuwaiq Drone Challenge tests UAV capabilities
Aramco encourages greater adoption of drone technology with sponsorship of national competition.
The Tuwaiq Drones Challenge 2022, which began on Sept. 27, with Aramco as its strategic sponsor, will highlight how drone technology can transform a range of businesses, creating efficiencies and improving safety in the process.
The event, which runs until Oct. 10, will see teams from across Saudi Arabia compete with drones in various categories: commercial, filming, construction, recreation, and agriculture. As well as funding, Aramco is providing access to its flight simulator to boost participants’ skills in takeoff, mission planning, maneuvering, and landing. It has also entered a team of its own drone pilots in the competition.
UAVs in our work
Aramco’s participation underscores how the latest drone technology is enhancing its business operations. For example, where inspecting tanks, flare stacks and elevated structures would previously require scaffolding and multiple teams working at significant heights, the task is now carried out in less time, at lower cost, and more safely with drones.
Similar breakthroughs involve using drones for visual and thermal inspections, aerial mapping, surveillance, emergency response and gas leak detection, reflecting Aramco’s goal to protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, the company’s 4IR Center is driving exploration of new innovative technologies, in line with its Digital Transformation Program.
Organized by the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP), the Tuwaiq Drones Challenge strives to increase awareness about the use of drones; expand capabilities; establish local expertise in the technology; and contribute to a vibrant drone business ecosystem in Saudi Arabia.
The promise of drones
Aramco’s chief engineer, Khalid Y. Al-Qahtani, said: “The advent of drones in the oil and gas industry is a game changer. It holds tremendous promise for the continuing digital transformation of the industry, as well as environmental protection.
Deploying industry leading robotics and drone applications across Aramco’s business is driving safer, cost-effective and more efficient practices that improve our competitive advantage. We hope our sponsorship of this event will help scale-up drone adoption in Saudi Arabia and encourage the growth of a vibrant drone business ecosystem.
— Khalid Y. Al-Qahtani