Martek Drones, a drone developer based in Rotterdam, won a £8.5 million contract to send drones to measure the sulphur and CO2 levelsemitted from ships in Europe’s seas.
The European Maritime Safety Agency will use data provided by Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) to improve environmental surveillance, due to the recent entering into force of the new limits for sulphur content.
Martek Drones, part of the Martek Marine Technology Group, won one of several framework contracts launched by EMSA to provide “Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) services in the maritime environment”.
The technology company has developed a remotely piloted aircraft that can sample gases from a vessel’s emission plume by using a payload of electro optical, infrared imaging, and gas emission systems. Automatic systems are used to track and identify ships.
According to Martek Drones, the RPAs can operate over 50 kilometers from ground station with continuous video streamed back to ground station and EMSA members. The drone monitors SOx, NOx and CO2 levels to determine possible breaches of EU law on the sulphur content of a ship’s fuel.
The drone has also a design that can withstand storm-force wind and heavy rain, snow and salt spray.
Paul Luen, Martek Group, CEO further explained that drone usage can change the world:
“We’ve worked hard and invested big to pioneer the maritime application of drone technology in the last 3 years. This EMSA contract allows us to combine our original ‘world first’ of ship SO2/CO2/NOx monitoring, with our unique drone platform to deliver another world first. We’re determined to ‘change the world using drones’ and this is the first of many applications which we intend to pioneer.
We have made a real commitment to drone technology and envisage them bringing huge benefits to maritime operations and this tender allowed us to marry this capability with our world leading emissions monitoring pedigree.”
The technology developed by Martek could be used in an emergency for other purposes if is requested by EMSA members, the European Commission or any other EU agencies.