Police in France are looking for a few good drones to keep an eye on security at one of Europe’s largest football championships in June and July.
Le Monde (translated to English) reports that the Interior Ministry, which governs the nation’s prefecture police, is seeking bids for lightweight, stealthy hexacopters to patrol stadiums in 10 host cities during the Union of European Football Associations 2016 European Championship this summer.
According to the bid offer, the smaller drones (less than 10 kg) must be nimble, stealthy and ready for deployment within five minutes notice. Other exacting contract requirements may prove difficult for many bidders. The UAVs (described in the contract as “mini-drones”) must stay airborne for at least 30 minutes and maintain a low noise level that is “difficult to detect by means of thermal and electromagnetic sensing when operating at 100m in height.”
The drones will also be required to carry up to 6.5 pounds of payload which must include a daytime/nighttime HD camera with 720p or higher resolution with at least 10x zoom with real-time recording and data telemetry. The camera must be able to record numbers or letters from a standard vehicle license plate from a distance of 50 meters at a flight altitude of 30 meters and must also include a camera with thermal mapping and surveying capabilities.
Other requirements include:
- Launch-and-return at a distance of 500 meters in less than two minutes;
- Flight speed of at least 10 m/s in manual mode and 5 m/s in automatic mode;
- Minimum flight time of at least thirty minutes in all weather conditions in wind speeds of less than 10 knots.
The drones’ ground station is also subject to rigorous standards. The contract outline states: “the ground station must include flight behavior and preparation software. It must enable the preparation of the mission and the conduct of the flight in automatic mode a minimum of six waypoints in real time.”
In light of several recent terrorist bombings and attacks in Europe, drones have flown into the forefront of emerging counter-terrorism technology.
At the 19th Worldwide Exhibition of State Security (Milipol) in November, exhibitors said the topic of drones hung heavily in the air as one of the best bets in preventing future attacks.
A prominent Milipol exhibitor, French drone startup Aeraccess, recently concluded an agreement with the French national police’s elite counter-terrorism squad, RAID, to produce an antiterrorism drone, which can be customized with tools or weapons weighing up to 2 kilograms.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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