Your objective is to rescue inshore boat fishermen whose boats suffer from any kind of problem. It is called MAR-1 and it is a project developed mostly by Galician companies, led by IMATIA and with Vodafone connectivity. The pilot project has been launched in the Ría de Arosa and consists of two drone nests, an autonomous seaplane and a rescue boat that can be manned remotely.
The drones are located in ‘nests’ from which they are launched through drive platforms when they receive an alert of a possible incident at sea. The objective of these aircraft is to determine if the alert is real, and to assess the problem. They have cameras that send the images to a control center where everything that happens with the boats that are integrated into the system is evaluated. Their autonomy is ten hours and they avoid areas restricted to the flight. In addition, the aircraft closest to the incident does not go, but rather the one that will take less time due to weather conditions.
Each boat has a technological platform connected to the ground control unit, the boat itself and the sailors through smart bracelets that each fisherman must wear, as well as a vest that positions it via GPS. This determines when a sailor has fallen into the water.
When drones assess the type of problem a boat is experiencing, rescue vehicles come into play. One of them is a boat with two 300-horsepower engines that can be manned remotely. The boat has an articulated system to rescue people at sea. It consists of an articulated arm with a safety net that collects the body and deposits it on the boat.
The system is complemented by an autonomous seaplane. You can take off and land in water without a pilot and move wherever the incident takes place. This aircraft has a two-way voice communications system so rescuers and rescuers can talk to each other.
The use of autonomous vehicles is also present in Navantia’s plans. The Spanish shipping company wants to equip future ships with this technology.
The project has been funded by the European Union, the Government of Spain and the Xunta de Galicia. From IMATIA they assure that more than one million euros have been invested in the initiative.