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Project Overview

When approaching the problem of non-cooperative vehicles in Europe two different groups are in focus: land and sea vehicles (such as: motorbikes, cars, trucks and maritime boats). These vehicles are considered non-cooperative, when the law enforcement agents are trying to stop them but the vehicle drivers do not obey the orders and signals of the agents. Maritime scenarios can vary from the use of speedboats by organised crime groups for border crossing, drugs and weapons smuggling, to the use of old wooden outboard boats for immigrants smuggling. Ground vehicles can be found also in a wide number of scenarios. These scenarios embrace situations ranging from routine traffic control attempts, to stolen or hijacked car pursuits, crime scene escapes and, the most complex ones, complicated and dangerous hostage situations. From the law enforcement agents perspective, each of these scenarios require a different approach due to factors like unknown reasons for drivers’ behaviour, number and intentions of vehicle passengers, pace of the action, theatre of operations, etc. However, there is a common denominator: law enforcement officers always seek for means to perform the stop and arrest procedure in the safest way for both the law enforcement officers, the offenders, and the rest of the people involved.

AEROCEPTOR project is intended to provide law enforcement authorities with a system able to be successfully applied against any of these non cooperative vehicles and in all those scenarios.
A system effective enough to cover all the mentioned different land and sea scenarios can only be an aerial system. AEROCEPTOR project aims at increasing the capability of law enforcement authorities to remotely, safely and externally control and stop non-cooperative vehicles in both land and sea scenarios, by means of such a system, a Remote Piloted Aerial System (RPAS).This has several advantages, such as:

  1. Higher security level for law enforcement agents and lower error rate;
  2. Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of interception operations, since RPAS are quickly deployable and have an all‐weather and 24/7 operation capability;
  3. Decreasing the risk of human overreaction in interception operations;
  4. Offering a cost effective and environmentally friendlier solution due to their reduced weight and therefore less fuel consumption;
  5. And last but not least, being humans still the best decision makers, RPAS offers a solution able to combine the human capability for decision making with a high automated operation capability owing to the continuous monitoring of the operation and fulfilling “state of the art “ privacy respect legal requirements.

To accomplish such a challenging aim, the RPAS has to be equipped with some onboard system(s) providing the capability to intercept (slow and stop) the vehicles, and this is precisely the concept of the AEROCEPTOR system proposed in the project.

AEROCEPTOR aims at offering a cost effective solution taking advantage of already existing systems to adapt them to the project. In those cases where the necessary subsystems do not exist or do not meet AEROCEPTOR needs, they will be developed. With this philosophy, to accomplish the described AEROCEPTOR system, the project will carry out different types of activities. From research and technological development activities to regulatory framework analysis, the entire project will be carried out under the systems engineering methodology to ensure final project development success. AEROCEPTOR aims at the latter by the means of:

  1. Providing a comprehensive and holistic security study on the topic, ensuring that the new developed means will be safe and will meet all the ethical and Social Science and Humanities (SSH) standards;
  2. Ensuring impossibility of misuse of the technology, guaranteeing that the new developed means will be secure and will include all required safeguards;
  3. Offering a cost effective solution taking advantage of the Commercially-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components readily available, ensuring modularity and standardisation to minimise industrialisation and operational costs as well as making it easier to implement in the daily activity of the law enforcement agencies;
  4. Following the innovative system engineering approach to the required technology Research and Development;
  5. Promoting a series of Workshops (WS) where the inputs and collaboration of End Users and Stakeholders will validate the project activities and results.

Before the funding was granted, the project was evaluated and reviewed by several international experts committed by the European Commission. It was also positively assessed by an ethics screening and a security screening committee, committed by the European Commission, before the funding was granted. During the project, an external expert review will take place.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 285144.