Reliably monitoring extensive areas of the sea is a major challenge for the coastguard and emergency relief services.
Unmanned aircraft are expected to make a critical contribution to this in the future. In December 2012, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) simulated experimental unmanned flights over the Mediterranean. The virtual test flights showed that the interaction with regular air traffic would work properly. They are preparing for the first remotely controlled test flights around the southern Spanish city of Murcia in the summer of 2013.
“Real time images from the air are a key for generating maritime survey images,” says Dennis Göge, safety research programme coordinator at DLR. “Today, aerial photographs are almost exclusively taken using manned aircraft. We are working with our partners in the Desire Project to enable unmanned aircraft to be used over the open sea as well in future. In this way, we can make a contribution to increasing maritime safety.” Desire (Demonstration of Satellites Enabling the Insertion of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems in Europe) is an ESA project aimed at testing satellite-supported guidance of unmanned aircraft in coastal regions and over the sea.
About DeSIRE – Demonstration of Satellites enabling the Insertion of RPAS in Europe
The DeSIRE (Demonstration of Satellites enabling the Insertion of RPAS in Europe) demonstration project is a joint ESA-EDA initiative aimed at demonstrating the safe insertion of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in non-segregated airspace using satellites capabilities for RPAS command and control, ATC communications and Mission data transfer to ground, in order to satisfy the needs of potential user communities. The demonstration will be carried out in Spain through several flights using a RPAS (Heron 1) providing airborne maritime surveillance services to the Spanish Users involved in the project.
Source: sUAS News