EMSA | Sniffer drone of Greek ALTUS LSA to monitor ship emissions on Mediterranean Sea coast
Defence Redefined
Published on 18/10/2022 at 13:10

The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has responded to a request from the French authorities to provide surveillance support for multiple tasks including the monitoring of emissions from passenger and commercial ships using the busy ports in the area of Marseille (Port of Marseille, Port of Fos). 

According to EMSA’s press release, the sniffer drone deployed takes measurements from the exhaust plumes of passing ships to help verify compliance with EU and IMO rules capping the sulfur content of marine fuels (Directive (EU) 2016/802 and MARPOL Annex VI), with a view to reducing harmful effects on human health and the environment. 

The operation follows recent successful trials and is expected to run until December 23, 2022.

The ship safety inspectors of the Interregional Directorate for the Mediterranean Sea (DIRM MED) in charge of dockside controls will be directly involved in targeting vessels in close contact with the pilots of the drone. 

Each flight will be followed in real-time through EMSA’s RPAS Data Centre and the measurements taken will trigger follow-up inspections via the THETIS-EU database for port state control where instances of non-compliance are suspected.

The particular Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) model in use is ideal for rapid mobilization from different sites. 

The ATLAS 4 vertical take-off and landing quadcopter manufactured by ALTUS LSA and supplied by the ALTUS LSA-led consortium with ADAPTIT is under contract to EMSA and fully equipped with different payloads including cameras and emissions measurement sensors.

While emissions monitoring will be the primary task of the operation, the RPAS may also be deployed for other complementary tasks within a designated area. In this way, it can also serve the purposes of search and rescue, fisheries control, and marine pollution monitoring depending on the specific needs of the authorities at any given time.

Also read: ALTUS LSA | Participation in the 7th A.M.A Maritime Event and its solutions in the field of shipping pollution

Watch the interview of ALTUS LSA CEO, Zacharias Sarris, with DEFENCE ReDEFiNED where he presents the drones in question.




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