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The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has contracted Schiebel to support operations with its Camcopter S-100 rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for emission monitoring and maritime surveillance purposes in northern France on behalf of the General Directorate of Maritime Affairs, Fishery and Aquaculture (DGAMPA), the company announced on 29 July.

Stationed at the Regional Centre for Surveillance and Rescue at Sea (Centre régional opérationnel de surveillance et de sauvetage – CROSS) at Gris-Nez, southwest of Calais, the Camcopter S-100 currently supports in emission monitoring and maritime safety, including environmental protection and response, fisheries inspection, search and rescue (SAR) as well as control of all relevant vessels passing through the Channel.

CROSS Gris-Nez is responsible for the duties of the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) on the French side of the English Channel.

Shiebel’s Camcopter S-100 is conducting missions for France’s EMSA out of CROSS Gris-Nez on the Channel coast. (Photo: Schiebel)

The S-100 executes these tasks equipped with a Trakka TC-300 electro-optical/infra-red sensor, an Explicit Mini Sniffer for emission monitoring, a Becker Avionics BD406 emergency beacon locator, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver and a Mode-S Transponder ADSB out.

“This area of sea is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, where 24/7 monitoring of all maritime activities is essential. Schiebel’s S-100 has supported numerous maritime authorities to date, with EMSA being one of our most prestigious customers,” Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group, was quoted as saying in a company press release.

As a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAV the Camcopter S-100 requires no prepared area or supporting equipment to enable launch and recovery. It can operate by day or night, under adverse weather conditions, with a beyond line-of-sight capability out to 200 km over land or sea. Its carbon fibre and titanium fuselage provides capacity for a wide range of payload/endurance combinations up to a service ceiling of 18,000 ft (5,500 m).

The Camcopter S-100 is powered with AVGas or JP-5 heavy fuel and in a typical configuration can carry a 34 kg payload for up to 10 hours.

Peter Felstead