Lifeboat deployed from drone

Published on: 5th February 2024

TEKEVER, a European firm that develops Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), has confirmed the successful deployment of a lifeboat from its AR5 drone as part of a search and rescue exercise conducted by the Italian Coast Guard, in partnership with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

A video of the search and rescue exercise can be found and downloaded here:

With fully automatic operation, sensors onboard the drone enabled the detection of vessels or humans on the water. Using artificial intelligence, the drone calculated the optimal time to release the lifeboat close to the vessel or person in distress without human intervention, enabling the lifeboat to be deployed at a close enough, but safe, distance.

The system automatically considered weather conditions and flight plan restrictions, allowing the lifeboat to be easily used in a wide range of situations, say the firm.

According to a press release:

“CLS and TEKEVER have combined their skills and expertise to provide EMSA with maritime surveillance solutions using drones as a service since 2016. An affordable service useful for all Member States of the European Union, this solution has already proven its efficiency with nearly 2,000 hours of flights and nearly 300 missions carried out in Portugal, Italy, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom.

With this consortium, CLS and TEKEVER combine 30 years’ experience in data acquisition, data processing and data analysis in maritime domain awareness with nearly 10 years’ experience in remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) solutions, making it a unique European civil expert.”

Commenting on the news, TEKEVER’s CEO, Ricardo Mendes, said:

“This successful demonstration by one of the leading maritime safety agencies is a fantastic endorsement of TEKEVER’s cutting-edge technology. We look forward to continuing this partnership with EMSA to improve the surveillance of European waters and ultimately save lives.”