If you're in a ship in the Great Belt area, you may be being watched. Image Credit: Nordic Unmanned
The Danish authorities are using a sniffer drone to monitor sulfur emissions within their waters.
The authorities have requested the use of a drone from the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to monitor emissions around the Great Belt area, EMSA said in a statement on its website Wednesday.
The deployment started on July 6, and follows similar deployments in the country in 2018 and 2019.
"Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) provide an effective means for monitoring ship compliance with the MARPOL Annex VI for Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA); the RPAS unit passes through the exhaust gas plume from ships’ stacks and analyses the plume with a dual sniffer system from which the sulphur content in the fuel burnt is derived," EMSA said in the statement.
While data from systems like this is useful to authorities to tip them off about potential non-compliance, it is not used alone in legal proceedings; to demonstrate non-compliance in law, the authorities still need to board the vessel to obtain fuel samples for testing.