Airships to monitor pollution and port activities tested at Valencia Port
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.