Valenciaport has carried out a test flight of an electrically powered airship for security and traffic control.
The project is part of the Autonomous Stratospheric Platforms for Maritime Monitoring (PLEAMMAR), developed by the Spanish startup SMARTHAPS within the Ports 4.0 programme.
The PLEAMMAR project aims to carry out a feasibility study on the use of high-altitude pseudo-satellites (HAPS) for port applications such as maritime and land traffic control, security and surveillance, pollution control, and logistics operations.
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During the test flight, a captive airship was deployed at a height of 100 metres with the collaboration of the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV), the Valenciaport Foundation, and the Sagunto Customs Administration.
The vehicle was equipped with a gyro-stabilised optical camera for real-time acquisition of images that were sent to the ground control station. Various activities and areas of the port were monitored during the flight.
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According to SMARTHAPS, HAPS are an affordable and flexible platform for collecting data and monitoring activities from above.
The airships could provide real-time data on environmental and maritime pollution, vessel movements, and port logistics. Their usage could help port authorities to enhance safety and security, reduce costs and environmental impacts, and improve the efficiency of port operations – reported the startup.
PAV just announced that between 1 and 26 of March, TEU throughput increased by 16.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2022.
Valenciaport handled a total of 322,137 TEU, which is 46,070 TEU more than in March 2022.