Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and autonomous
underwater vehicles (AUVs) are being increasingly
used for numerous purposes in both military and
civilian areas. Today’s applications of these systems
include surveillance, reconnaissance, remote sensing,
target acquisition, border and marine patrol,
infrastructure monitoring, communications support,
aerial imaging, industrial inspection and emergency
medical support. The UAVs and AUVs have
capacities of sensing and perceiving the environment,
processing the sensed information, communicating,
planning and decision making, as well as acting
autonomously by using control algorithms and
actuators [5]. The UAVs and AUVs presented in this
paper are deployed within EC Horizon 2020
COMPASS2020 (Coordination Of Maritime assets for
Persistent And Systematic Surveillance) project. This
project has a goal to use unmanned aerial and
underwater vehicles in operational coordination with
manned oceanic patrol vessels used by European
Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), to enhance current
marine border surveillance operations, with a
particular focus on the detection, monitoring and
control of irregular migration and narcotics
smuggling. The project has been conceived to assist
authorities in handling the pressure put on European
external borders by the vast amount of irregular
border crossings observed in recent years. Besides
struggling with irregular migrants, Europe has a
problem with other incidents of the most disperse
nature such as the long lasting issue of narcotics
trafficking [11]. Aiming to address these two big
challenges, the project proposes the development of
an unified system based on open standards that will
enable the combined operation of multiple unmanned
assets, manned platforms currently used for marine
surveillance and the future accommodation of other
platforms and services with minor integration efforts
Performances of Some Autonomous Assets in Maritime
S. Bauk
Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
ABSTRACT: The paper deals with key features of some autonomous assets, i.e., unmanned aerial and
underwater vehicles used for marine surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Firstly, performances of Airbus
Zephyr S HAPS (Solar High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite), Tekever AR5 Life Ray Evolution and the AR3 Net Ray
medium altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been analysed. Then, ECA Group A18 and A9
autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) features have been presented. The strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats (SWOT) approach is applied to position appropriately these UAVs and AUVs in the
context of maritime security operations. The need for further investigation in the field is reveiled as well. The
analysed vehicles are assets deployed with the Europen Commission’s (EC) COMPASS2020 project and tested
over European seas.
the International Journal
on Marine Navigation
and Safety of Sea Transportation
Volume 14
Number 4
December 2020
DOI: 10.12716/1001.14.04.12