Hellenic Coast Guard testing tethered aerostat for FRONTEX mission (photos)

The Hellenic Coast Guard will start testing a tethered aerostat for sea surveillance mission, as part of a FRONTEX operation

The system will be providing surveillance of a sea area from the island of Samos.

The 35 meters captive airship is fitted with a radar, thermal camera, AIS (Automatic Identification System) system and can climb up to 1,000 meters from the base station. After successfully completing the testing of its systems, it will be tested on a trial basis from Tuesday 30/07/2019 for a 28-day period, aiming at the live, uninterrupted surveillance 24/7.

At the same time, a mobile (on-board) sensor station with equivalent equipment from the Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR) Marine Surveillance System has been developed on the island in order to compare in real-time the operational capabilities between the two solution (air and land based).

Through that test, the Hellenic Coast Guard became the first European Union Coast Guard service to use tethered aerostat for the policing of a sea area, just after ten months the first operational use in Europe of a MALE UAV.

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, also known as FRONTEX (from French: Frontières extérieures for “external borders”), is an agency of the European Union headquartered in Warsaw, Poland, tasked with border control of the European Schengen Area, in coordination with the border and coast guards of Schengen Area member states.