Several ICARUS partners gathered in La Spezia, on the premises of the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation in order to test the newly developed Unmanned Maritime Systems that are being developed to support Search and Rescue operations in marine environments.
The participating partners were: The Royal Military Academy of Belgium (project coordinator), the Calzoni company, INESC Porto / INESC TEC , the Portuguese Navy Research Centre, SpaceTec Partners and the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation itself.
Several unmanned platforms were tested over five days. First, it was the turn of INESC Porto / INESC TEC ’s Roaz II vessel which is a testing platform used to validate the system that will then be integrated into the U-Ranger developed by Calzoni. The vessel was used for rescuing a survivor of a simulated marine accident.
The Roaz II operates by carrying a smaller unmanned rescue boat and deploying it close to the site of the accident. The small boat then scouts for survivors and releases a safety raft that is used to provide temporary shelter until manned search and rescue assets reach the scene.
Calzoni also tested their newly developed U-Ranger unmanned boat that will be used as the final platform for integrating the sensors and communication devices that other ICARUS partners are developing.
The results of the test were encouraging. The ICARUS consortium will continue to work on improving the system in view of the final test campaign scheduled for 2015.