Search and Rescue Live Demonstration
Published on: October 2021
From October 26 – 27, Diamond Special Mission Aircraft Division will be hosting a live demonstration focused on Search and Rescue. The demo will take place in Ostend, Belgium, and over the North Sea, in cooperation with North Sea Aviation Services, a Diamond MPP customer themselves.
The DA42 MPP utilized for this demonstration is equipped with a ViDAR (Visual Detection and Ranging) Pod developed by Australian company Sentient Vision Systems, a Trakka EO/IR gimbal and an AIS receiver.
This is the first time that a VMS-5 (ViDAR Maritime Surveillance) Day/Night optical radar pod is being utilized in its operational configuration on a fixed wing aircraft. ViDAR employs Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning to detect and classify targets in the imagery stream from an Electro-Optic or Infrared (EO/IR) sensor that would be invisible to a human operator or very hard to spot. With its wide search swath, it can cover a designated search area up to 100 times faster than an aircraft without ViDAR.
ViDAR can autonomously detect small objects on the sea surface over very wide areas, by day and night, up to Sea State 6. ViDAR has proven its capability as both a Search and Rescue (SAR) and a maritime surveillance tool, with demand for support of a wide range of missions growing globally, including drug interdiction, anti-piracy and illegal fishing detection.
Stefan Haim, Technical Manager Diamond Special Mission Aircraft, said, “The new VMS-5 pod showed good performance in detecting vessels on the ocean. It fits naturally in AIMS and the workflow can be easily learned.
The intuitive pre planning tool helps determining the optimal flight profile for the VMS 5 pod to cover as much area as possible.”
Dr Paul Boxer, Managing Director of Sentient Vision Systems, said, “Sentient is very pleased to be working with Diamond Special Mission Aircraft to demonstrate the market-leading capabilities of the VMS-5 ViDAR pod on the DA-42. It’s inspiring when two innovative and highly capable companies collaborate to build a market leading offering that will reshape the future of maritime search and rescue operations.”
The combination of the highly effective Diamond Special Mission Aircraft along with the autonomous wider-area search performance of ViDAR, provide unrivaled SAR capabilities at reasonable cost.