As part of the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) operation the Schiebel CAMCOPTER® S-100 UAS (Unmanned Air System) is helping to save the lives of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea.
Desperate people fleeing conflict, economic desperation and violence in their homeland look towards Europe as a safe haven. They travel by all means possible for days or weeks on end to get to countries of transit from which they will sail out in makeshift sea craft. The lucky ones reach Europe where they can claim asylum, the unlucky ones perish.
MOAS was founded to take action to prevent such tragedies in the future and initiated Operation Phoenix where the CAMCOPTER® S-100 plays a vital role in. A ship-borne aid station, named Phoenix, was made available to support refugee vessels in need.
Phoenix has two 6-metre rigid inflatable boats on board that respond to calls for assistance. The CAMCOPTER® S-100 is launched from on board the ship to locate and identify boats in distress. The UAS then provides imagery in real-time, day and night and even under adverse weather conditions. Operated by Schiebel personnel, the EO/IR camera submits essential data to locate people in need. With the help of the unmanned helicopter the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) can be informed and provide help immediately.
The mission radius was implemented in a strategic geographic location on the central Mediterranean route, affected by migratory flows departing from the southern Mediterranean littoral.
Between August and October 2014, the 40-metre expedition vessel Phoenix will conduct three operations in central Mediterranean, each lasting two to three weeks.
Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group of companies commented: “We are very happy to provide this capability and our experience for MOAS to help people in need. With our combined effort we can save the lives of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea and hopefully raise awareness for the situation of migrants worldwide.”
Founded in 1951, the Vienna-based Schiebel Group of companies focuses on the development, testing and production of state-of-the-art mine detection equipment and the revolutionary CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS). Schiebel has built an international reputation for producing quality defense and humanitarian products, which are backed by exceptional after-sales service and support. Since 2010 Schiebel offers the new division composite and is able to supply high-tech customers with this high-quality carbon fiber technology. All products are quality-controlled to meet ISO 9001 standards. With headquarters in Vienna (Austria), Schiebel now maintains production facilities in Wiener Neustadt (Austria), and Abu Dhabi (UAE), as well as offices in Washington DC (USA), and Phnom Penh (Cambodia).
About Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS):
MOAS is made up of a group of international humanitarians, security professionals, medical staff and experienced maritime operators who have combined their resources to help prevent further tragedies at sea. They are passionate about the plight of those seeking a better life and the dangerous challenges they face as they try to find a life free of violence. MOAS, which is based in Malta, was founded by Christopher and Regina Catrambone and has a Board of Advisors made up of distinguished personalities from various sections of society.
About the CAMCOPTER® S-100:
Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) is a proven capability for military and civilian applications. The Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) UAS needs no prepared area or supporting launch or recovery equipment. It operates in day and night, under adverse weather conditions, with a beyond line-of-sight capability out to 200 km, both on land and at sea. The S-100 navigates via preprogrammed GPS waypoints or is operated with a pilot control unit. Missions are planned and controlled via a simple point-and-click graphical user interface. High definition payload imagery is transmitted to the control station in real time. Using “fly-by-wire” technology controlled by a triple-redundant flight computer, the UAV can complete its mission automatically. Its carbon fiber and titanium fuselage provides capacity for a wide range of payload/endurance combinations up to a service ceiling of 18,000 ft. In its standard configuration, the CAMCOPTER® S-100 carries a 75 lbs/34 kg payload up to 10 hours and is powered with AVGas or heavy fuel.
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