Remote controlled surveillance aircraft facilitate fisheries control
Friday, February 07, 2020, 06:20 (GMT + 9)
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has developed a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) used in maritime surveillance operations.
The system has been readily taken up by the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), who is always on the lookout for new and innovative solutions to enhance fisheries control.
EFCA has been using a quadcopter which takes off from the Lundy Sentinel patrol vessel and operates over areas of interest in the Mediterranean Sea, western waters of the North-East Atlantic Ocean, North Sea and Baltic Sea. By flying in the vicinity of a fishing vessel, the remote controlled aircraft can collect data from different activities on board. This data is then transmitted in real time to EFCA’s liaison officer deployed on board the Lundy Sentinel, as well as to EFCA’s coordination centre in Vigo, and EMSA’s headquarters in Lisbon.
The EMSA RPAS services have been developed to assist in maritime surveillance operations to support authorities involved in Coast Guard functions undertaken by Member States.
RPAS can be used as aerial platforms for sensors such as optical cameras in the visible and infrared (IR) spectral range for night and day maritime surveillance, IR sensors for oil slick detection and analysis, radar for maritime surveillance, and oil spill detection, and gas sensors (“sniffers”) to measure the amount of SOx in a plume emitted by a ship to be able to calculate the percentage of sulphur used in the fuel burned by the ship. Additionally all RPAS are equipped with AIS sensors to have a complete picture of vessel movements and distress sensors to be able to react in emergencies.
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