Schiebel's Camcopter S-100 UAS selected for search and rescue trials as part of Arctic 2030 project

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Schiebel has announced that its Camcopter S-100 UAS has been selected by Norway’s Andøya Test Center for extensive search and rescue trials as part of the Arctic 2030 project.

In a typical configuration, the Camcopter S-100 operates six hours continuously, and can carry multiple payloads at the same time, which provides users with significant payload flexibility. As a result, the S-100’s missions deliver aerial views that reach “considerably farther than manned helicopters,” Schiebel notes. 

The S-100 provides several key advantages for naval operations in the Arctic. Being that it is a vertical take off and landing (VTOL) UAS, it does not need any additional start or recovery equipment. It has a minimal footprint, making it ideal for offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) with small deck sizes.

The S-100 is also capable of performing in harsh weather conditions, as it can fly at temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius. This has been successfully demonstrated in a series of intensive trials, such as the Canadian icebreaker operations, during which the Camcopter S-100 was deployed 60 nautical miles north of Fogo Island. The UAS provided a wide-view image of the ice structure, and also identified the boundaries between flat and rough ice.

“The CAMCOPTER® S-100 has performed a series of challenging demonstration flights in the Arctic over the years and has proven its operational value and mission effectiveness,” comments Hans Georg Schiebel, chairman of the Schiebel Group.

The goal of the Andøy Municipality project is to demonstrate VTOL UAS use in the Arctic region in an effort to increase maritime safety. With this in mind, the Camcopter S-100 will be equipped with an Electro-Optical/Infra-Red (EO/IR) camera gimbal, an Overwatch Imaging PT-8 Oceanwatch payload, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver and a Maritime Broadband Radio (MBR) by Radionor. This combination of payloads is intended to not only strengthen emergency preparedness in the region, but also provide search and rescue mission support.

Tests are scheduled to begin this fall, with the UAS being deployed from Norwegian Coast Guard vessels in Andfjorden, Northern Norway. More operations are planned in Spitsbergen in the spring of 2020.

“We have already gained some experience with the Schiebel CAMCOPTER® S-100 UAS during an impressive demonstration in 2017,” says Gunnar Jan Olsen, General Manager of the Andøya Test Center.

“We believe that these current, more extensive S-100 trials will demonstrate that maritime safety in the Arctic can effectively be increased with the help of VTOL UAS.”