Airships to monitor pollution and port activities tested at Valencia Port

03 May 2023

Valenciaport has tested an electrically-powered airship equipped with sensors and instruments to analyse environmental, safety and maritime traffic control parameters. It is part of the Autonomous Stratospheric Platforms for Maritime Monitoring (PLEAMMAR) project, developed by a startup. Equipped with a gyro-stabilised optical camera, the airship was deployed at an altitude of approximately 325 feet. In ports and over shipping lanes, other forms of drones and unmanned aerial services are also being used. The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has been providing drones to ports and other authorities, including coastguards, in the EU for a number of years. They have been used to increase surveillance and in operations to check emissions from ships to ensure compliance with regulations such as the EU's low sulphur fuel rules. Ports including Antwerp and Rotterdam have tested the use of drones, but they have limited duration of flight and travel at relatively low altitudes.

These airships could provide real-time data on environmental and marine pollution, ship movements and port logistics. Using them could help port authorities to improve safety, reduce costs, reduce environmental impact and improve the efficiency of port operations.

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