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From patrolling the streets to painting houses, drones have become the most innovative invention of the decade. Now, the drone industry steps on another milestone after a contract worth 77 million Euros was given to TEKEVER’s AR5 UAS. The sole purpose of the contract is for drone mapping and maritime surveillance.

CLS has been providing satellite based services to EMSA for many years, and we now have the opportunity to complement these services with a drone-based capability.

The announcement of the contract was made at the recent Paris Air Show. The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) chose TEKEVER’s AR5 UAS as the first drone system to do maritime surveillance and environmental monitoring in Europe.

The 77 million Euro contract is designed to give UAS-based maritime services in support of environmental protection activities and the EU Coastguard.

TEKEVER is one of Europe’s major manufacturers of unmanned systems. Today, the systems of TEKEVER drones are being deployed by numerous security, safety, and defense forces around the world.

In 2014, the European Space Agency (ESA) together with EMSA selected TEKEVER’s AR5 UAS to test and demonstrate UAS-based maritime surveillance activities in Europe. The testing of maritime surveillance activities was called the RAPSODY Project.

The RAPSODY Project was the result of a consortium by TEKEVER. The project was responsible for providing and adapting the system of the AR5 UAS.

TEKEVER created a consortium that was ranked first among all the candidates in the Paris Air Show. These companies are part of the consortium:

  1. DSI Information Technik (Germany) – The company is accountable for assuring the security when it comes to sensor data transmission.
  2. Bond Air Services (UK) – The company is responsible for the operation of the system.
  3. TEKEVER UK – The company organizes the development of fusion algorithms and data processing, and the creation and adaption of the sensor platform.

The contract is an important announcement in the drone industry because it is one of the first of its kind in the European Union. This contract means drones are being integrated into the fabric of surveillance and monitoring at an ever greater scale, where they can further prove their usefulness and effectiveness.

Drones for European Maritime Survey Tasks

Coastline of Normandy aerial view.

The AR5 UAS or AR5 Life Ray Evolution, is a European Maritime Patroller. It is a medium-endurance and medium-altitude fixed wing UAS. AR5 is a drone that is designed for pollution monitoring missions and long range maritime surveillance.

AR5 UAS features:

  • Synthetic Aperture Radar
  • Maritime Radar
  • AIS and EPIRB Sensors
  • Multiple EO and IR cameras

According to Ricardo Mendes, the General Manager of TEKEVER Autonomous Systems, “following a request to EMSA by an EU Member State, our consortium will provide a complete, turnkey, fully operational service for conducting maritime surveillance and environmental monitoring missions. This revolutionary service provided by EMSA is having a profound impact on the market and raising a very high interest in many countries throughout Europe.”

Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS), a French-based maritime surveillance expert, has collaborated with TEKEVER on the said RAPSODY Project. CLS joined TEKEVER in order to provide an end-to-end solution. Drone Life has mentioned that CLS specializes in terms of offering intelligence and collecting maritime data.

Gaetan Fabritius, the Head of Maritime Surveillance at Collecte Localisation Satellites, said that “CLS has been providing satellite based services to EMSA for many years, and we now have the opportunity to complement these services with a drone-based capability. We’ll provide the backend for the service, deploy expert staff to support multiple types of missions, including pollution detection – an area in which CLS has over 30 years of experience”.

The services are expected to start within the next few months. They are going to provide a cost effective and flexible way for maritime authorities in Europe to gather data and knowledge of coastal systems and populations. Reports have suggested that drones’ operations can be made in any sea area surrounding an EFTA country or the EU.

The contract that was given to TEKEVER promises to be the beginning of a new era for drones and coastal . Europe has come a long way when it comes to its technology and United States can learn a thing or two about the advancement.

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