Project Summary

From ancient times, transportation of goods is done mostly by sea, since it is the most reliable and cost-efficient way. Crucial to that direction is the geographical formation of the land, the continuous development of the shipping industry. Even so, a major danger for commercial shipping is sea piracy. It is the result of the social, political and economic instability that occurs in various countries on the planet. The financial consequences that piracy induces on the maritime community are as significant as the costs shouldered by all the countries that have taken and are taking part in mitigating the phenomenon.

The use of new technologies such as UAS is necessary for the confrontation of the mentioned problem. Utilizing the capabilities of new technologies, new innovative ways of assisting private guards protecting merchant ships, and/or their own crews, can address piracy more effectively. It is possible that these new ways are more feasible, economical, easier to use, faster, safer, regardless of weather or other conditions, with higher precision and lower cost than the existing ones. They can be interoperable and capable of immediate data processing and analysis, readily accessible to any interested party.

The purpose of this proposal is based on a business idea to develop two different types of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for surveillance on sea areas. The first UAS will be properly equipped with sensors, other recording instruments and an integrated processing system for the purpose of reviewing, collecting, recording, and processing data and identifying various unknown floating "targets" in order to avoid and prevent piracy in commercial ships.

In addition, it will be significantly different from existing unmanned systems at both design and equipment level as it will have customized 'intelligent systems' of data capture and reading overview based on the combined use of sensors and ground control systems to enable remotely operate and manage missions at operational level.

The second UAS system to be developed in the context of this proposal will be small, flexible, and easy to use by a non-specialized operator. In particular, it will be deployed by its operators, while the ship is or being occupied by pirates. Its purpose will be to follow its ship or the ship of the pirates, at an appropriate height and distance for the significant starting period of ongoing piracy action by transmitting at appropriate frequencies Mayday (SOS) signals as well as critical information about the ship it follows. In particular, while following the ship, in addition to transmitting the distress signal (S.O.S), it will relay the position of the ship, and potentially images of the state of the ship's vulnerable places through a network of microcameras installed on the ship's bridge, escape room and other spots.

The whole business venture is based on the need for continuous provision of security services on merchant ships crossing areas, where pirate teams operate, thus securing the safer movement of human and goods. The result of this project will contribute significantly to the competitiveness of businesses and research organizations that deal with piracy as it will form a basis of modern security services at national, European and global level.