Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)

The aircrafts currently available have an endurance ranging from 6 to 8 hours, and weight from 25kg to more than 150kg. Another particularity that makes the RPAS more suitable for one operation is the type of lift-off, which can be from a runway, a catapult or vertical take-off (in case of an helicopter).

To address the different operational requirements, three types of RPAS are available:

  • Medium size aircraft with “Long Endurance and long or medium range”;
  • Medium size VTOL aircraft;
  • Lightweight VTOL aircraft (i.e. quadcopter).

The payload of each aircraft is adapted to the maritime surveillance activities requested by the user. Depending on the type of the mission, RPAS operate closer to shore, i.e. within the Radio Line of Sight (RLOS) or further offshore, i.e. Beyond Radio Line of Sight (BRLOS), which requires special equipment on board to communicate via satellite. All communications and aircraft control are via a Local Ground Control Station, a mobile unit set-up in the area of operation.

The data and video recording collected during all RPAS missions will be made available to the authority in charge of the operation via the RPAS Data Centre.

RLOS BRLOS picture