The drone, called SARGO (Search and Rescue – Go), is designed to be dropped from SARaircraft, landing in the water via parachute.
The USV is 996mm long, 292mm high, with a width of 286mm and weight around 15kg. It is designed to carry payload items such as a two-person life raft, radio, water or other life-saving supplies. It can also assist in the rescue of survivors in the water.
Aeromech plans to begin production of the drone in 2023 at its facility in Queensland.
SARGO was reportedly developed by the firm in response to an expression of interest by the Australian Marine Safety Authority (AMSA), who were looking for a remotely operated vehicle that could be deployed from an aircraft and operate on water.
“Over the last year, the AMSA has responded to 390 incidents and saved over 199 lives – a statistic we hope to support with the use of SARGO,” said Aeromech founder Joe Bryant. “Existing technology doesn’t allow for a device to be dropped from an SAR aircraft using a parachute, carry a life-saving package onboard, and then remotely navigate to the people in need at the same range that SARGO can.”
SAR operations are a hotbed of innovative new technologies designed to improve safety and efficiency. Dr Joetey Attariwala explored the diverse equipment now on offer in the January/February 2022 issue of AirMed&Rescue.