Surveying The Channel
Southampton Science Park based company, Tekever, has been helping to fight illegal fishing, migration and waste dumping in the British Channel, using its innovative AR5 unmanned aerial system (UAS).
The twin-engine fixed wing UAS with integrated artificial intelligence, is designed specifically for maritime surveillance missions. It can fly for more than 12 hours, and carry multiple payloads including maritime radars, synthetic aperture radars, day and night cameras and satellite distress beacons. The specific payload package used to survey the Channel allows the AR5 to cover vast areas, detecting, tracking and identifying potentially illegal vessels and then providing the authorities with real time, highly accurate intelligence.
Paul Webb, Tekever UK Managing Director, said: “Every day, dozens of asylum seekers and refugees set off on the dangerous journey across the English Channel to reach British soil, but small boats and treacherous conditions mean many lives are in danger along the way. We are proud to be a partner of UK authorities in fighting this kind of illegal human traffic. Drones can identify humans in distress much faster and help rescue teams.”
Tekever has also recently announced that it had raised €20 million in an investment round led by Ventura Capital with participation from Iberis Capital and a number of unnamed strategic investors from the maritime industry. This funding injection will be used to hire more people, and to continue building out its technology.