The potential of new technologies may highlight new, innovative ways of helping private guards and/or crews of merchant ships tackle piracy more effectively so that they can be:
● feasible and economical
● Interoperable and capable of immediate collection, processing and analysis of data
● readily accessible to any interested party
The purpose of this proposal is to develop two different types of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs). In the first UAS, the use of appropriate sensors and other recording instruments as well as their integrated processing system will be explored, with the aim of collecting, reviewing, recording, processing data with the end result of identifying various unknown "targets" floating in maritime areas, in order to avoid and prevent piracy on merchant ships. This system will be the "long arm" of the private guards aboard merchant ships and/or the crews of merchant ships. Ground control systems will ensure its remote operation and management at the operational level of the missions. Monitoring will rely on a combination of high spatial resolution and thermal spectrum sensors. This information will be provided in real time and in accordance with the operators’ requirements.
The second UAS will be small, flexible and easy to use by non-specialists (such as merchant ship crew etc). It will be used in cases of piracy as a "rescue beacon". It will be deployed by its operators in case the ship is or being occupied by pirates.
The project will contribute significantly to the competitiveness of businesses and research organizations, as the innovative system and products developed will form the basis for providing modern services at national and global level. In addition, they will contribute positively to the national economy by enhancing scientific research and innovation as a planning, as well as decision support tool for the protection of merchant ships. It will also make a significant contribution to Research, as the products that will be developed will be innovative and will form the basis for further research in this area, aiming to utilize in the future new sources of information.
In conclusion, new jobs will be created and people with different backgrounds will engage for a common purpose, thereby expanding their own professional skills.
There are expected to be significant results of the project for merchant ships and shipping industry in general, especially in the following areas.
● Fighting piracy
● Ability for better surveillance of sea areas
● Earlier warning of a potential pirate threat,
● Optimization of ship routes,
● Shortening distances
● Saving floating time
● Saving crew’s time
● Fuel saving
● Saving ship rental time
● Reduce the cost of purchasing equipment for preventing and responding to a pirate incident
● Reduce insurance costs for crews, ships and freight.
● Reduce the risk and cost of providing armed and unarmed security services on commercial ships
● Avoid unpleasant situations of abductions, hostages or even death, not just on crew members by pirate attacks
● Reduce the economic losses of adjacent to pirate areas countries, countries with developed tourism, countries with large fish stocks, etc.
The results of this project are also expected to be significant in complementary sectors or activities as listed below:
● Search and rescue at sea
● Safety of maritime targets
● Surveillance of sea area
● Coverage of “dead zones” of marine and coastal telecommunications using a frequency transponder
● Recognise marine hazards
● Prevent marine accidents