The Japan Coast Guard launched a demonstration test of unmanned aerial vehicles today.

Japan Coast Guard’s Demonstration Test of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Starts Today October 15 at 5:08 AM

The Japan Coast Guard will begin demonstration tests off Sanriku and the Sea of Japan on May 15 to verify whether unmanned aerial vehicles can be used to search for marine accidents and monitor suspicious ships.
The Sea Guardian, an unmanned propeller aircraft from the American defense company General Atmics, is approximately 12 meters long and 24 meters wide, and has the ability to fly for more than a full day and orbit the outermost part of Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

The Japan Coast Guard uses 33 airplanes and 52 helicopters to search for marine accidents and monitor and crack down on suspicious vessels in the waters around Japan, but has decided to consider introducing unmanned aerial vehicles in order to strengthen the system.

The experiment will be conducted off Sanriku and in the Sea of Japan, based at the Hachinohe Air Base of the Self-Defense Forces in Aomori Prefecture, and will fly according to prior programming and remotely from ground control facilities.

The aircraft is equipped with radar and high-quality cameras to verify that radar information and camera footage arrive in real time and that there are no flight safety issues.

It is that the aircraft does not fly over the residential area except for takeoff and landing.

The demonstration is scheduled to take place until the 10th of next month for more than 900 million yen.

Demonstration experiment Confirmation of the ability to identify suspicious ships and their ability to grasp their location

In the demonstration experiment, sea guardians fly off the Pacific Ocean off Sanriku in Tohoku, around the Ogasawara Islands, off the Sea of Japan side from western Japan to northern Japan, including Yamato Bank, where illegal operations by foreign fishing boats are one after another, along the Sado coast of Niigata Prefecture, and the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture.

During these waters, a total of 150 hours of flight is planned 13 times, and in addition to confirming safety, it is possible to navigate a patrol ship like a suspicious ship, how much altitude it can be identified from, whether it can be identified by sound from the aircraft by radio just like a manned aircraft, and whether a rescue raft like a rescuer can be released to the sea to determine the exact location from above.

In addition, in the waters around the Ogasawara Islands, observations of Nishinoshima, where active eruption activity continues, confirm the capability of ocean surveys.