Camcopter S-100 demon­strates its mar­itime ca­pa­bil­ity in the Nether­lands


The Camcopter S-100 un­manned air sys­tem (UAS) suc­cess­fully demon­strated its ca­pa­bil­ity across sev­eral dif­fer­ent mar­itime sce­nar­ios to Dutch Au­thor­i­ties in Den Helder, the Nether­lands, on April 29, 2014. Con­sol­i­dat­ing its un­matched mar­itime po­si­tion, the S-100 demon­strated its abil­ity to sup­port mar­itime com­man­ders and de­ci­sion mak­ers in the North Sea, west of Den Helder. The North Sea is al­ready one of the busiest mar­itime ar­eas in the world and the Coast Guard ex­pects this to in­crease over the com­ing years.

The demon­stra­tions were ex­e­cuted from a Dutch Navy ves­sel, us­ing the L3 Wescam MX-10 elec­tro-op­tic sen­sor as a pay­load. The demon­stra­tion pro­gramme was based around a se­quence of sce­nar­ios com­menc­ing with the Camcopter S-100 in­tro­duc­tion to the au­di­ence.

In one of those sce­nar­ios a fire on­board a ship loaded with dan­ger­ous sub­stances re­sulted in the crew aban­don­ing the ves­sel, two crew mem­bers are miss­ing and no fur­ther in­for­ma­tion is avail­able. Be­fore the res­cue mis­sion be­gins it is deemed es­sen­tial by the de­ci­sion mak­ers that they have “eyes” on the tar­get to as­sess risks and de­ter­mine the pos­si­ble lo­ca­tion of the miss­ing crew mem­bers. The S-100 is de­ployed to pro­vide this in­for­ma­tion as well as giv­ing other use­ful in­for­ma­tion to help com­bat the fire. The Camcopter demon­strates how it can gather this time crit­i­cal in­for­ma­tion quickly and ef­fi­ciently.

The fight against drug smug­gling formed the theme of an­other sce­nario. The S-100 is de­ployed to dis­cretely fol­low a sus­pect ves­sel. Sud­denly a rigid-hulled in­flat­able boat, (RHIB) ap­pears, mov­ing along­side the ves­sel. The un­manned he­li­copter ob­serves and records the trans­fer of drugs and sup­plies time crit­i­cal in­for­ma­tion to the al­lied ships to in­ter­cept and de­tain the RHIB.

Dur­ing all sce­nar­ios the Camcopter S-100 ably demon­strated its flex­i­bil­ity, ver­sa­til­ity and per­sis­tence, all of which are the key to suc­cess­ful oper­a­tion in mar­itime en­vi­ron­ment.

Hans Ge­org Schiebel, Chair­man of the Schiebel Group of com­pa­nies, com­mented: “This se­ries of tri­als once again showed how the S-100 can pro­vide a cost-ef­fec­tive ca­pa­bil­ity to Mar­itime Com­man­ders and de­ci­sion mak­ers whether ashore or afloat.”

Schiebel’s Camcopter S-100 un­manned air sys­tem (UAS) is a proven ca­pa­bil­ity for mil­i­tary and civil­ian ap­pli­ca­tions. The ver­ti­cal take­off and land­ing (VTOL) UAS needs no pre­pared area or sup­port­ing launch or re­cov­ery equip­ment. It op­er­ates in day and night, un­der ad­verse weather con­di­tions, with a be­yond line-of-sight ca­pa­bil­ity out to 200 km, both on land and at sea.

The S-100 nav­i­gates via pre­pro­grammed GPS way­points or is op­er­ated with a pi­lot con­trol unit. Mis­sions are planned and con­trolled via a sim­ple point-and-click graph­i­cal user in­ter­face. High def­i­ni­tion pay­load im­agery is trans­mit­ted to the con­trol sta­tion in real time. Us­ing “fly-by-wire” tech­nol­ogy con­trolled by a triple-re­dun­dant flight com­puter, the UAV can com­plete its mis­sion au­to­mat­i­cally.

Its car­bon fi­bre and ti­ta­nium fuse­lage pro­vides ca­pac­ity for a wide range of pay­load/en­durance com­bi­na­tions up to a ser­vice ceil­ing of 18,000 ft. In its stan­dard con­fig­u­ra­tion, the Camcopter S-100 car­ries a 75 lb/34 kg pay­load up to 10 hours and is pow­ered with AV­Gas or heavy fuel.

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