USA Rehearses Drones For Safety And Environmental Missions

The US Coast Guard is evaluating to carry out many of its missions through the use of short-range unmanned aerial systems (UAS, for its acronym in English of  Unmanned Aircraft Systems ), with the aim that missions are developed more quickly, safely and economic

To know exactly what are the risks, benefits and limitations of operating this technology in a marine environment, the Department of National Security (DHS) of the United States – Directorate of Science and Technology has joined the Research, Development and Evaluation Program ( RDT & E Program). For this reason, the Center for Development and Research of the Coast Guard has been evaluating these systems launched manually in the maritime environment over the last few years. Researchers have evaluated these systems in real maritime safety scenarios, analyzing the response to emergencies and to situations of contamination. The lessons learned in the tests will serve to develop the concept of operations for specific missions of the Coast Guard.

To help in the incorporation of the use of these drones in the missions, the DHS officials established a terrestrial and maritime training and evaluation program.

Drones were tested for the search and rescue scene in Singing River Island (Mississippi), evaluating the ability to detect anchored rafts by means of an autonomous camera on board with a pre-established schedule. The use on board of high definition cameras and multispectral cameras, and detection and localization technologies (Lidar, light detection and ranging ) to carry out missions to combat maritime contamination in the future was also analyzed. The study shows that drones can reach the necessary height to provide a better view of the size and trajectory of a spill.

In other legal missions, such as drug interdiction, drones can calculate the number and weapons necessary for the safety of Coast Guard personnel, in addition to obtaining the recording of a chase.

From the perspective of profitability, the use of these drones can lead to economic savings. For example, the use of airplanes or helicopters to carry out evaluations after natural disasters can cost around $ 11,000 / hour.

More tests should be carried out in multiple geographic locations since the sensors work differently in other environments.


Source: Sector Maritimo