European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to lend surveillance drone to Baltic state in effort to catch emissions offenders.
European Union member, Lithuania, has enlisted the help of EMSA in its efforts to catch emissions offenders along its 140nm Baltic Sea coast. EMSA will lend the Baltic country a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) for an initial three months.
The RPAS is capable of remotely measuring emissions from the exhaust plumes of vessels in the main shipping lanes and when at anchor off the port of Klaipeda. Sulphur emissions should be no higher than 0.1% in this sulphur emission control area (SECA).
The aircraft being used for the project is a Schiebel Camcopter S100 vertical take-off and landing drone and is under contract to EMSA via a consortium led by Nordic Unmanned.
Data collected by the RPAS is transmitted live to EMSA’s RPAS data centre and is logged in THETIS-EU, the European database used by maritime inspection authorities in Europe.
The RPAS will also be used in conjunction with other Lithuanian authorities, including the navy, MRCC and fisheries control services.
EMSA offers the RPAS service free to all EU member states and can deploy the aircraft to all sea areas in the EU. France and Denmark have also use the service, and EMSA plans to expand the scheme regionally in 2021 and 2022.
“RPAS services can provide support to traditional coast guard functions, including search and rescue and pollution prevention and response,” EMSA said.