in Defence

QinetiQ supports next generation Search and Rescue missions

Posted 2 August 2019 · Add Comment

QinetiQ collaborates with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to investigate how drone technology can strengthen their Search and Rescue missions.


Copyright: QinetiQ

Small unmanned air systems are delivering disruptive change across the industry. Ten years ago what was predominantly a niche hobby, or military technology, has now found wide commercial success. Anyone can easily have an eye in the sky and recent publicity is changing the way organisations view their problems.

The Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) oversees search and rescue operations in the UK. Their volunteer Coastguard Rescue Teams respond to time-critical calls and work tirelessly to save lives. Funded by QinetiQ’s Internal Research and Development, our search and rescue development programme is exploring how small unmanned air systems, with enhanced information sharing capability can help these rescue teams be more effective and save more lives.

During recent demonstrations, QinetiQ’s Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) solution allowed MCA control room staff in the National Maritime Operations Centre, Fareham, to safely and securely control the sensor of an unmanned system in flight at Llanbedr airfield in North West Wales – over 200 miles away. The live situational awareness feed, which included marked up imagery, search status and reference points, was simultaneously distributed to multiple teams at the search site in Llanbedr, and to remote sites in Fareham, London and Southampton.

Search teams on the ground were equipped with rugged tablets with moving maps, sensor feeds from the air systems, and search progress information; all enabled by a mesh network that robustly shared voice and data amongst all participants.

The lessons learned from this activity have generated insight into how to effectively deploy small unmanned air systems in future search and rescue missions.

Phil Hanson from the MCA said: “The MCA is always looking to understand how new technologies and ways of working can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the services we deliver whilst reducing risk to our personnel. This joint activity enabled us to gain a much deeper understanding of how information collected by unmanned systems can be shared effectively throughout our organisation and beyond.”

Phil Briggs UAS Technical Lead for QinetiQ said: “Projects like this demonstrate how search and rescue can be transformed for future operations. The successful joint demonstration highlighted the increased capability that can be harnessed within critical missions and amplify the efforts of those who are dedicated to helping others. It is extremely rewarding to co-develop solutions with our customers, particularly where the impact can be immeasurable when helping to save lives.”

QinetiQ’s unmanned air system capabilities include the operational deployment of systems under civil or military regulations, systems integration, service management and technology exploitation, such as autonomy, and Mannered-Unmanned Teaming.

QinetiQ continues to explore applications for its world class UAS capabilities and sees search and rescue operations a key area of future exploitation.

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

BA invests in phones for all cabin crew

As part of British Airways’ £6.5 billion investment for customers, the airline has announced that all of its 15,000 cabin crew will be issued with iPhone XRs to help them offer a more personalised service to the more than 45 million

BAE Systems' Bofors 57mm gun selected for Indonesian Navy’s attack craft

The Indonesian Navy has selected BAE Systems’ Bofors 57 Mk3 naval gun system for the country’s KCR-60 fast-attack vessel programme.

Smiths Detection opens training centre in India

Smiths Detection today announced the opening of its state-of-the-art service, training and experience centre in Gurugram, India.

IATA WFS to focus on sustainable future

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that its 2019 World Financial Symposium (WFS) will focus on the theme of airlines, IATA and partners working together to shape a sustainable future.

BAE Systems to enhance F-35 Electronic Warfare capabilities

BAE Systems has received a Block 4 Modernisation contract award from Lockheed Martin to enhance the offensive and defensive electronic warfare (EW) capabilities of the F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

DaRT launched with DE&S by tlmNexus

Award-winning software solutions tech company tlmNexus has launched a new service with Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) – the Damage and Repair Tracker (DaRT).

ODU 0201311219
See us at
SMI ActiveP BT1206121119FIL20BT010819260720TMP BT0708090919ADSS1000DBT1706171019SMI FAV BT1006141119SMI GMS BT1906071119VIDSE BT1605060320DSEI JP BT1605201119