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The European Agency for Maritime Safety (EMSA) is further expanding the monitoring of ship emissions and general maritime surveillance with unmanned flight systems (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System, RPAS). On behalf of the EU member states, EMSA maintains monitoring services that continuously check whether shipping traffic in European waters is operating according to the rules.

EMSA has signed a 16.5 million euro framework agreement with various service providers to enable monitoring of the sulfur content of ship emissions. The aim is to ensure the limit values ​​for sulfur emissions that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set for seagoing vessels. The second element is the monitoring of the maritime situation by the coastal authorities.

One of the service providers is Schiebel with the unmanned Camcopter S-100 flight system. The 110 kg heavy device is capable of day and night flight and can carry payloads (sensors, communication) with a total weight of up to 50 kg. High-resolution images are transmitted to the control station in real time. The range is 200 km and the service ceiling up to 5,500 m. Due to its small footprint and size and the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capability, the Camcopter S-100 is for maritime use suitable.

It is the second EMSA contract for Schiebel. Since 2018, Schiebel has been supplying EMSA and local authorities in Croatia and Finland with maritime surveillance services.

Gerhard Heiming