Over recent decades, the demand for better/more performant monitoring of maritime activities has increased: it implies the capacity to cover large sea areas, but also to identify certain risk activity patterns. Although satellite monitoring provides good coverage and high-resolution images, earth observation satellites can neither react to specific events promptly nor stay “on-site” for very long. Conversely, vessel assets can stay on-site, but cannot monitor large areas.
To enhance the existing maritime picture, EMSA is continuously exploring the potential incorporation of any new type of resource/tool – such as RPAS – that could provide “more and better” information compared to the systems already being used.
In the maritime domain, the most similar platforms to RPAS are piloted aircraft. The fundamental advantages of using RPAS instead of piloted aircraft derives from possibility to perform missions without putting human lives in danger, to have additional payload capacity on board or additional endurance.