During the last Offshore Patrol and Surveillance conference Markku Mylly, executive director of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), said that a tender has been signed to provide an unmanned system, also referred to as a “drone,” to assist in a number of information gathering operations, including maritime emissions monitoring, Shephard media reports.
“We are looking for a medium or large UAS initially used to monitor the environment, but in the long run we will want it for multi-purpose operations. The system would be contractor operated,” said Mylly.
“[Drones] can provide a comprehensive picture and 24/7 coverage. This is the first time we are putting a drone tender out and let’s see what the offer brings.”
Currently, the EMSA is said to gather much of its data on the maritime sector, including ship safety issues, Automatic Identification System (AIS) monitoring for vessels, pollution observation, and port security, through four data hubs across Europe.
The news follows a November report by Ship & Bunker saying that the EMSA was “embracing what technology has to offer for maritime surveillance” and has been working with the European Space Agency (ESA) on two pilot projects intended to efficiently utilise drones for maritime surveillance and sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions monitoring.
Source: Ship and Bunker