LONDON, (BM) – QinetiQ collaborates with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to investigate how drone technology can strengthen their Search and Rescue missions, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
Funded by QinetiQ’s Internal Research and Development, the search and rescue development programme is exploring how small unmanned air systems, with enhanced information sharing capability can help these rescue teams be more effective and save more lives.
During recent demonstrations, QinetiQ’s Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) solution allowed MCA control room staff in the National Maritime Operations Centre, Fareham, to safely and securely control the sensor of an unmanned system in flight at Llanbedr airfield in North West Wales – over 200 miles away.
The live situational awareness feed, which included marked up imagery, search status and reference points, was simultaneously distributed to multiple teams at the search site in Llanbedr, and to remote sites in Fareham, London and Southampton.
Search teams on the ground were equipped with rugged tablets with moving maps, sensor feeds from the air systems, and search progress information; all enabled by a mesh network that robustly shared voice and data amongst all participants.
Phil Hanson from the MCA said: “The MCA is always looking to understand how new technologies and ways of working can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the services we deliver whilst reducing risk to our personnel. This joint activity enabled us to gain a much deeper understanding of how information collected by unmanned systems can be shared effectively throughout our organisation and beyond.”
Phil Briggs UAS Technical Lead for QinetiQ said: “Projects like this demonstrate how search and rescue can be transformed for future operations. The successful joint demonstration highlighted the increased capability that can be harnessed within critical missions and amplify the efforts of those who are dedicated to helping others. It is extremely rewarding to co-develop solutions with our customers, particularly where the impact can be immeasurable when helping to save lives.”
QinetiQ’s unmanned air system capabilities include the operational deployment of systems under civil or military regulations, systems integration, service management and technology exploitation, such as autonomy, and Mannered-Unmanned Teaming.
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