CLS and Tekever drop lifeboats by drone

CLS and Tekever drop lifeboats by drone

The system was supplied by EMSA, and was successfully tested during a search and rescue exercise carried out by the Italian Coast Guard.

Another tool in the arsenal of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) is coming soon. Three years after signing a maritime surveillance contract with the consortium made up of the Toulouse-based satellite service provider CLS and the Portuguese drone manufacturer Tekever, including the possibility of deploying an eight-person lifeboat from a drone, the device was successfully tested during exercises, Tekever said. Search and rescue conducted recently by the Italian Guard Costera.

The Portuguese company said in a press statement: “Using artificial intelligence, the drone calculates the optimal time to launch the lifeboat near the ship or the stricken person, without human intervention, allowing the lifeboat to be deployed at a close enough, but safe, distance.” Which announced last November the establishment of a branch in Toulouse in order to develop its space activity.

The drone is equipped with optical cameras, infrared cameras, marine radar, AIS receiver and emergency site radio signal antenna. “The system automatically takes into account weather conditions and flight plan restrictions, making it easier to use the lifeboat in a wide range of situations,” Tekver says.

At the request of EMSA, CLS and Tekever, which have flown nearly 2,000 flight hours and 300 maritime surveillance missions for the agency since 2018, have added these rescue capabilities to the AR5 drone. In a document outlining its five-year strategy for 2020-2024, EMSA, which was initially established to combat marine pollution, noted that it “could have a role to play in the future in terms of strengthening search and rescue support,” particularly from migrants.

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Facing a migration crisis and thousands of attempts to cross the Mediterranean over the past 15 years, Italy, which has already made use of the drone for surveillance missions, volunteered to test the device.

© Article from the editorial board of Mer et Marine. Reproduction without consent of the author(s) is prohibited.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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