Offshore high voltage DC (HVDC) wind farms offer a promising solution to growing energy demands in the future. Condition monitoring of substation assets is essential for reliable and resilient operation of electrical networks. Existing condition monitoring techniques for onshore substation and electrical network assets include regular and scheduled on-site visits by trained personnel to substation sites. However, such routine inspection is not a cost-effective
solution for offshore sites. In cases where the accessibility to network assets becomes difficult, robotic and autonomous condition monitoring provides a solution. Such a robotic/autonomous solution would need to interact with the surrounding substation environment, without increasing the risk of electrical breakdown and flashovers between different energized components. In this
paper, the effect of high electrostatic fields on an inspection unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is analyzed, with respect to: 1) AC corona emissions interference on the UAV, and 2) Air breakdown clearance characteristics. Both simulations and experiment results presented in the paper show the impact of corona emissions interference to both UAV autopilot and actuation sections, which requires a shielding mitigation solution. Also, experiment results show the
limited effect of introducing a shielding solution on increasing the flashover risk between valve hall towers.