Unisphere Flight Management to boost Ship Emission Monitoring by Drone
Within the ESA Space Solutions program, Unisphere and Nordic Unmanned have joined efforts to innovate ship emission monitoring operations with remotely piloted aircraft (RPAS). The RPAS is fitted with a gas sensor, known as sniffer. Flying in the plume of the ships, the RPAS can determine the amount of sulfur content in the marine fuel and check compliance to legal requirements.
Source: Schiebel Corporation
Operating in areas of heavy ship traffic and challenging environmental conditions, the emission monitoring flight missions are very complex. Strategic scheduling, tactical flight planning and in-flight re-planning are required to optimize the efficiency of the RPAS. The Unisphere Flight Management Platform (FMP) integrates flight path prediction and optimization algorithms, high resolution weather data, performance and limitation models for the aircraft and its payloads. Using the operational expertise of Nordic Unmanned, highly automated software modules for mission planning, flight dispatch and flight following have been developed. The software platform supports the RPAS pilots to exploit the full capability of the aircraft in every mission. Test campaigns in the North Sea and Mediterranean are scheduled for summer 2021. Copernicus Digital Elevation Data and Satellite Communication Capability are downstream applications of space assets provided by ESA. The project has an overall volume of 1.5M€ and is co-funded by the ESA Member States Germany and Norway.
Unisphere transfers pilot know-how into software to enable commercial use of unmanned aircraft. The Flight Management Platform increases the automation of operational analysis, mission planning, flight dispatch, flight monitoring and postflight to improve efficiency, eliminate risk, reduce costs, and create commercial benefit. The software modules are tailored to address operators of drones, air taxis and high-altitude platforms.
Nordic Unmanned delivers comprehensive data solutions through industry-leading expertise to assist public and private customers in the transition to unmanned technology. The company was founded in 2014 in Sandnes, Norway, and is one of Europe’s leading service providers within unmanned technology, and has operations across the continent through, amongst others, a framework agreement with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).
The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. ESA Space Solutions aims at reaching commercial exploitation of space assets, data and capabilities addressing incubation, proving technical feasibility and business development. This includes the development of operational services for a wide range of users through the combination of different systems, and support in creating viable companies as well as to existing companies.