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Aeronautics industry joins to mitigate impact of pandemic in fighting fires

The Portuguese aeronautical industry came together to demonstrate that Portugal has installed capacity and immediate response to the challenges of preventing and fighting forest fires, at a time when contagion by COVID-19 is an additional risk in the theater of operations.

At issue is the use of unmanned technology to support fire prevention, combat, aftermath and aftermath, now considered by the executive to mitigate the risk of contagion among civil protection agents.

The group of companies, which currently has TEKEVER, CEiiA – Center for Engineering and Product Development, GMV and Spin.works, represents a value chain capable of providing immediate unmanned technology, support the operation, maintenance of aircraft and data processing from aircraft during the entire period of forest fires.

Altogether, the companies concerned have more than 500 specialized engineers and represent more than 90 percent of national exports in the unmanned aerial technology sector, making Portugal a European leader in the field of maritime surveillance.

A few weeks before the start of the fire season, the industry will test installed capacity with an exercise scheduled for next Tuesday at the Atouguia da Baleia aerodrome, in Peniche. The companies will carry out, together with the local firefighters, an exercise in a real scenario of locating a fire outbreak, using unmanned technology. It is recalled that the Air Force was recently authorized, through a resolution of the Council of Ministers, to make the “immediate acquisition of 12 unmanned aircraft systems to meet the urgent need for additional aerial surveillance, during the Special Combat Device period. to Rural Fires 2020 ”.

“The unmanned technology of national manufacture is an international reference and could be a fundamental aid for all forces that prevent and fight fires, mitigating contagion by COVID-19”, says Ricardo Mendes, CEO of TEKEVER, European leader in the operation and manufacture of drones for maritime surveillance missions.

The official also highlights the added value of using this type of aircraft “in the identification of risk areas, immediate detection of hot spots and monitoring the progression of fire fronts”.

The industry initiative also has the positive opinion of José Neves, President of AED (Portuguese Association for Aeronautical Industries Space and Defense): “I am pleased with yet another mobilizing action by our associates that not only promotes the development of the industrial fabric Portuguese, as leveraging a set of technological capabilities with high export potential. This initiative is a clear demonstration of the vitality of the National Cluster. ”

Made 100 percent Portuguese, the unmanned aerial system TEKEVER AR3 that will be used during the exercise is already being operated internationally on similar missions, already counting with hundreds of hours of flight, and being already produced on a large scale. With an autonomy of more than 16 hours, it can be operated from any theater of operations, without the need for a runway to take off or land, and transmitting information in real-time from its high-performance day and night sensors over 100 kilometers away.

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