Experimentation of use of drones for beach surveillance

DTA, in agreement with the Municipality of Bari, organized an exercise to test a service for the remote surveillance of beaches, for the purpose of monitoring incompatible gatherings, and also to show the potential of drones, remotely piloted aircraft, for urban security. The technology demonstration, which has already included some drills carried out in recent days on the Pane e Pomodoro and Torre Quetta beaches in Bari, was held in collaboration between DTA and Bari Local Police (PLB).

The demonstration aims to provide public evidence of the role and commitment of the DTA and the Municipality of Bari in the implementation of the BariSmart City program by integrating the use of drones into everyday practices. In addition to the achievement of certain parameters and objectives on the technological innovation side, this initiative intends to provide space for institutional users and citizens to play a leading role in defining services with drones, and in evaluating the benefits obtained, in terms of improving both Public Administration processes and quality of urban life. In fact, the City of Bari intends to provide urban spaces and opportunities for experimentation of services implemented through the use of UAS and space assets. The DTA, subsequently, will implement a program of experimentation and demonstrations of the potential application of UAS and space services in order to stimulate and activate technological and industrial development initiatives that foster social and economic growth. These objectives are currently being pursued through SAPERE (DTA coordinator, co-funded Puglia Region) and Casa delle Tecnologie di Bari (Bari City Council coordinator, co-funded MISE) projects. Other co-funded projects (national and European) that converge with these objectives are RPASinAir (DTA coordinator, co-funded MIUR),ASSURED-UAM (H2020), CORUS-XUAM (H2020). Still others are under negotiation and preparation.

The experimental service for remote surveillance of beaches was developed through a series of meetings between representatives of the DTA, in the persons of Antonio Zilli, Roberto Guida and Danilo Leanza, and the Bari Local Police, in the persons of the Commander and his staff delegated to the activity.

These days’ drills allowed the DTA and PLB team to study the operational context, the rules of relevance, the applicable limitations due to the presence of people on the ground and the characteristics of the airspace in the target area, and, most importantly, the operational possibilities of a drone, with a takeoff mass of 10Kg, capable of offering a flight time of about 50 minutes and equipped with advanced sensors. Such performance is an improvement over the drone fleet already used by the Bari PL.

Although the demonstration highlights the contemporary needs of reducing crowds, the skills and capabilities developed, mainly in the head of the PL, will be applicable in all operational scenarios characterized by the presence of a crowd in a public area and will allow for greater safety for people, the city, and the PM operators.