Madrid, Spain-based Alpha Unmanned Systems says it recently participated in a training exercise of the Maritime Security and Rescue Society (SASEMAR), a sea search-and-rescue organization operating in Spain.
The exercise off the coast of Cartagena simulated a situation wherein an emergency center receives a call that a person has been found at sea, and approximate coordinates of the location are given. From these coordinates, a search pattern is then generated, depending on the tides and wind direction.
In this unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) trial, at 11:40 a.m., SASEMAR reported the search area of the person. At 12:05, the captain of the rescue ship, Clara Campoamor, gave his approval for Alpha Unmanned Systems’ SNIPER UAV to take off from the ship.
Eighteen minutes later, the UAV finds the castaway 4 kilometers away, and the exact coordinates are reported to SASEMAR, which then sends a speedboat to the location. At 12:28, the UAV lands back on the platform, and the speedboat has already reached the person at sea.
Alpha Unmanned Systems says the UAV’s rapid deployment and ability to determine the exact location demonstrate the feasibility of the technology for this type of rescue operation.