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The Canadian Coast Guard is conducting trials of a new long-endurance UAV surveillance system for possible deployment on Canadian Coast Guard Vessels. Initial BVLOS trials in the US were monitored in real-time over the horizon in Canada.

The Canadian software company Kongsberg Geospatial successfully conducted Phase 1 trials of the Martin UAV V-BAT on behalf of the Canadian Coast Guard at a UAS test facility in rural southeastern Oklahoma.

The aircraft was selected to provide the unique ability to combine take-off and landing from the small confines aboard ship with the long endurance of a fixed-wing aircraft while carrying multiple sensors. 

The project is funded by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC).

Due to COVID travel restrictions, the first trial couldn’t be held in Canada as originally planned, so the Canadian Coast Guard held their first phase of an unmanned system demonstration virtually as the V-BAT flew at the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s (CNO) test facility, while other teams observed from Canada.

The flights demonstrated rapid launch and recovery, long-endurance, confined space take-off and landing, and vehicle and person tracking using electro-optical and infrared cameras. 

The cameras were aided by object detection and tracking capability software.

The flights were monitored in real-time and live video of the telemetry and payload was streamed to Ottawa Canada for observation by the Canadian Coast Guard.  The video feeds were then incorporated into Kongsberg Geospatial Modular ISR Data Analysis and Storage system called MIDAS. MIDAS serves as a “mission intelligence coordinator” to view current and historical sensor feeds of the UAS within a temporal and geospatial context to increase sensor utilization effectiveness.

With Phase 1 concluded successfully, the next phase for the Canadian Coast Guard will be this summer when Martin UAV and Kongsberg Geospatial go to sea on a Canadian Coast Guard vessel for shipboard demonstration, according to insideunmannedsystems.com.