Exploring the use of unmanned aerial systems to monitor Canada's coasts and littoral regions
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is partnering with the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) to demonstrate the potential use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technology to complement and support existing CCG operations along the longest coastline in the world.
Through its Civilian Unmanned Aircraft Systems program, the National Research Council is leading technology demonstrations of the utility of commercial UAS in a variety of operational and harsh environments. NRC will analyze the data collected and provide a technology roadmap for the Canadian Coast Guard to explore the possibility of integrating UAS and related NRC technologies into their operations. The platform and technology, equipped with Electro-optic/Infra-red (EO/IR) sensor payloads, were supplied by ING Robotics Aviation, a Canadian leader in airborne sensing solutions.
"NRC supports the emergence of unmanned aerial systems for their potential to improve capabilities and reduce costs in several key Canadian industries," said Dr. Ian Potter, Vice-President of Engineering at the National Research Council of Canada. "This project is an excellent opportunity to investigate the ability of these systems to enhance Canadian Coast Guard operations."
To date, the technology demonstrations have targeted CCG operations along the St. Lawrence River focused on ice surveillance and management, and tower infrastructure monitoring and examination.
"NRC's expertise in unmanned aircraft system technologies and technology demonstration allows us to carry out missions to validate the use of UAS in monitoring Canada's coasts and littoral regions," said José Fernando Mojica, Project Director of UAS at Transport Canada.
The use of UAS can provide considerable benefits during reconnaissance missions and monitoring and inspection operations to ensure higher responsiveness, personnel safety, lower costs, and improved detection and assessment capabilities.