UK coastguard opens bids for experimental drone rescue programme

  • The UK Coastguard has invited bids for a £990k contract to develop a drone-based system to aid in emergency rescue and surveillance operations.

    Practically every industry has been disrupted by emerging tech in recent years, and new technologies also have the potential to improve the way we safeguard lives in the most dangerous situations. The UK's Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) is planning to take advantage of advances in autonomous and semi-autonomous drone technologies to improve its rescue and surveillance operations.

    Searching for people stranded at sea and watching for ships crossing national waters illegally can be a major problem for the coastguard, typically requiring a considerable investmetn in manhours and vehicles to patrol relatively small areas. Drones have the potential to radically reduce this cost and improve effective coverage.

    The coastbard has invited companies specialising in this field to bid for a £990,000 contract by the deadline of August 19th. Companies will need to demonstrate a system that can search for a reported missing person or ship up to 10km out from shore in a variety of conditions, including low-light, heavy mist, and high-winds.

    Source: BBC News


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