In 2019 we worked with National Grid to develop a new surveillance capability supporting their cable lay project, IFA2, in the English channel.

Client: National Grid

Category: Cable lay surveillance

Date: March – November 2019

Live video to support immediate response
Mobilisations in broad range of weather conditions

National Grid is one of the world’s largest investor-owned utilities, focused on transmission activities in electricity and gas. National Grid and RTE created the IFA2 consortium to build a HVDC interconnect between the south of England and Normandy. The cable installation ran from March 2019 to January 2020. During this period large sections of cable were unprotected on the seabed until they were trenched. National Grid have experienced malicious damage to cables on previous projects and were keen to establish a number of cost-effective proactive measures to deter threats and coordinate a robust response.

As part of an integrated risk reduction plan the IFA2 project team worked with Flylogix to develop and trial aerial surveillance of the connector during construction. The first phase of the project demonstrated the ability to acquire imagery of maritime vessels along the route of the IFA connector using Flylogix’ unmanned aircraft.  This was then further developed into a second phase of work during which live video was fed directly back to the IFA2 operations team.

Interconnectors deliver secure and affordable electricity and will play a critical role in tomorrow’s cleaner and smarter energy systems. By 2025 almost 90 percent of electricity imported via interconnectors will be from zero-carbon sources with enough flexible capacity to power a third of homes in the UK.