From Basque Research
Spain has supplied an unmanned aircraft used in trials of monitoring the Spanish coast, within the remit of the WIMAAS (Wide Maritime Area Surveillance) project, financed by the European Union.
This is the first time that an aeroplane of a non-military nature has taken part in controlling European coasts. The aircraft was commissioned to monitor the Spanish Mediterranean coast at the beginning of July, using a system of radars and cameras installed along the coastline.
During the trials, the external monitoring system equipment (SIVE in its Spanish initials) detected a number of ships and small craft at various miles of the coast, and the locations of which were transmitted to the control station from the pilotless aircraft, which flew overhead as indicated by the station in order to identify the vessels through aerial photographs.
After the trials, the project team was very positive about the further use of this monitoring system for Spanish and European frontiers.
The aircraft will carry out a similar demonstration in Greece for the Frontex European authorities in October.
Since 2003, Aerovisión, an enterprise based in the Basque province of Gipuzkoa, has focused on the design and manufacture of small-scale unmanned aircraft systems. These systems are for tele-deteciton and monitoring, with a capacity for taking and transmitting videos or infrared photographs to a land-based control station.