Global maritime routes are the backbone of worldwide trade, yet at the same time constitute highly sensitive infrastructure. Ships are exposed to a multitude of risks, be it extreme weather, accidents or criminal activities. Being able to quickly get an overview of any potentially dangerous situation is vital. The necessary response speed could be achieved by deploying unmanned aircraft for maritime use. These would take off directly from a ship and take situation images from the air automatically. As part of the Maritime RPAS Operation project (MaRPAS) , the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has been working with the German Federal Sea Police since 2016 on unmanned remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), their application possibilities and conditions for their use at sea. The project was successfully completed with a series of test flights in mid-October 2018. Continue reading →