These Lithuanian drones catch large ships spewing pollution

Since the start of 2020, large ships around the world have had to comply with lower maximum carbon and nitrogen emission levels permitted by international authorities. So what does that have to do with drones? Because they’re catching violating vessels out as they chug dirtily around Europe’s waters.

Maritime emissions-sniffing drones

Lithuanian drone services provider Nordic Unmanned has been using its sensor-loaded uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAV) to monitor maritime traffic in European waters, and in its home base the Baltic Sea in particular. Flying at the behest of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) since March, Nordic Unmanned’s remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) sniff out emissions of passing ships and analyze content for compliance. Those running afoul of the International Maritime Organization’s lowered IMO 2020 limits for sulfur and nitrogen are reported to next ports of call for follow-up inspections. 

According to Nordic Unmanned, its…