Remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) can enable the automated acquisition of aerial images even in security-critical situations. The ship-based deployment of RPAS is of special interest for the Federal German Police in the maritime area. Where an intervention is required, response time can be shortened significantly. The requirements and possibilities for such a deployment are further examined in the framework of the project MaRPAS 2 (Maritime RPAS Operation 2).
The DLR project MaRPAS 2 is part of the joint project “R&D and Real Time Services for Maritime Safety and Security” (EMS-III).
The project is based on the predecessor project MaRPAS. In MaRPAS the DLR Institutes of Flight Guidance and Flight Systems have cooperated with the German Federal Police in the development of procedures and technologies for landing a remotely piloted aircraft on a moving platform under severe weather conditions. In 2018 the final demonstration proved a successful manual RPAS landing on a static ship deck. The RPAS was precisely guided to a hover point over the ship deck with the help of a relative positioning system that made use of double-differences. The final manual landing on the sip deck was conducted via a patented rope landing procedure.
RPAS landing on a ship deck
The German Federal Police is highly interested in continuing the cooperation for further investigations (concepts, precision navigation, rope landing system, RPAS configuration). The developed technology shall also be adapted to higher wind speeds. In preparation of the actual operation, the legal and technical requirements are being analysed and a Concept of Operation (CONOPS) is under development. Furthermore, the ground station U-Fly, operated by the Institute of Flight Guidance shall be extended and used for guidance of the RPAS. The emerging operator’s station will be used for surveillance and execution of the mission and the payload data (e.g. camera view).
The Institute of Flight Systems further extends the development of automatic take-off and landing procedures for dynamic platforms. This can increase the operational security and extend the possible field of application. Final objective of the project is the application of the CONOPS within a realistic maritime scenario in land-based demonstrations. The unmanned helicopter superARTIS will be controlled and precisely navigated from the ground control station. Take-off and landing will be performed automatically.
Video from the predecessor project