Valvonta 2 project studies deployment of unmanned aircraft as sensor platform in maritime surveillance duties
In the Valvonta 2 project the Finnish authorities involved test and evaluate in 2018−2020 how different types of sensor platforms equipped with the latest technology would be suitable for official use in the northern reaches of the Baltic Sea. Sensor platforms in the project refer to different types of unmanned aircrafts.
The project aims at achieving an understanding on how authorities could put unmanned aircraft to good use in their diverse and demanding operations at sea now and in the future. In the project only such unmanned aircraft that can be equipped with various sensors, such as cameras and optical radars, are tested. The goal is to find a sensor platform that best serves the different needs of the various authorities.
As the work of authorities cover a wide range of tasks, the systems must also be adaptable to different types of duties. The Valvonta 2 project thus promotes cooperation between the projects partners: the Border Guard, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, the Finnish Navy, the Finnish Environment Institute, the Customs and the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency. The project is based on the consensus of the authorities that an unmanned aircraft could be a cost-effective means of substantially improving the authorities’ operational capability.
For the project, authorities identified a number of scenarios under which an unmanned aircraft should be able to operate. The scenarios included the surveillance of sea and water areas, waterways and the archipelago, the checking and monitoring of containers, oil tanks and other stationary facilities at ports, and tasks related to environmental accident management. What these scenarios have in common is that they require technology that is agile enough and is capable of operating for long periods of time.
The Border Guard Headquarters coordinates the Valvonta 2 project. In addition, the Valvonta 2 project supports other ongoing and upcoming projects at the Border Guard. The Valvonta 2 project is funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for the period 2018-2020 with a sum amounting to approximately one million euros. On the current funding period 2014-2020 of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund there are two focuses related to the field of operation of the Border Guard: advancement of implementation of integrated maritime policy and common fisheries policy. Effectiveness of national maritime policy is promoted through funding by aiming funding to the projects that develop Finnish authorities' cooperation.