Naval Service to broaden horizons by flying kites

Kite-based technology is capable of monitoring vessels on US coast from Irish waters

A kite, of the type being developed by the Naval Service, in use on a commercial vessel

A kite, of the type being developed by the Naval Service, in use on a commercial vessel

 

The Defence Forces battle against international crime gangs, that smuggle drugs and guns through Irish waters, and armed militia in international flashpoints looks set to be revolutionised by kite flying.

A new project that focuses on generating power using kites at sea has spawned a number of military spin-offs. The technology uses existing surveillance methods such as telescopes, radar and drones but could increase their range 15-fold.

The kite is curved rather than flat and is similar in shape to those used in kite-surfing. The Defence Forces tested kites about 20 m/sq in size but they would likely use a larger version to hoist up instruments such as radar, telescopes and cameras.

The platform could also serve as a WiFi node allowing the Defence Forces to deploy drones or unmanned aerial vehicles.

Physically monitor ships

The technology could also be used by the army on land. The Defense Forces could monitor the movement of militia or refugees in trouble spots when travel by road becomes difficult or dangerous.