Aug 31, 2020
The National Energy Policy Council (CNPE) has confirmed the resumption of the auction schedule for oil and gas blocks in Brazil from 2021. One of these tenders will be the 17th Concession Round, the first in the country to offer six blocks beyond 200 nautical miles from the coast, in the Santos Basin. In addition to the challenges for exploration and production in these areas, another important point to enable activity in these new frontiers is the issue of monitoring. And it was fate that the announcement of the offer of these blocks beyond 200 nautical miles would practically coincide with the launch of a technological solution, manufactured right here in the country, that fits very well for the defense of these regions: the Atobá drone, developed by the company Stella Tecnologia.
The company’s CEO, Gilberto Buffara Jr., recently participated in a webinar to present the details of the UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] and spoke of the possibility of applying the drone in areas beyond 200 nautical miles: “Atobá is perfect for monitoring these oil zones at sea. It has scope for that purpose. It could even have a [drone] control station on a platform. So, it is perfect for controlling our ocean range, ”said Buffara, during the online broadcast, promoted by the channel DAN TV.
In addition to the blocks scheduled to be offered in the 17th Round, there are also the assets that are already in production in the pre-salt layer, which are just a little closer to the coast, between 250 km and 300 km. As we have already reported, the pre-salt fields already account for 70% of the national oil production in Brazil. The layer is inside the so-called Blue Amazon. And to defend this entire strip, with an area of 5.7 million km², the Brazilian Blue Amazon Management System, of the Brazilian Navy, provides for the use of remotely piloted aircraft for monitoring.
“Atobá can be used in any type of mission that requires persistent monitoring. With 28 hours of autonomy, it can monitor large territorial extensions. The drone can be used to monitor borders, our oceanic strip and the Amazon territory. We can use multispectral cameras to detect contamination, illegal fishing, oil spills and a number of other uses ”, projected Buffara.
The drone is capable of flying up to 28 hours uninterrupted and uses gasoline as fuel. It is equipped with high-resolution transmission cameras, which can see from miles away with optimal resolution, including cameras that capture infrared radiation. The drone’s navigation control system is installed in a command center, from where Atobá is operated. The drone can also reach up to 5,000 meters in height, with air traffic control authorization.
“As we reported, UAV Atobá was launched after the results obtained on its first flight, performed on July 20. Ironically, this is the date Santos Dumont was born, Father of Aviation and Patron of Brazilian Aeronautics. “The drone took off and landed in a very smooth way. It is very maneuverable, given its size. The drone showed a lot of stability. Now, we are going to put more flight hours on it, build other prototypes and prepare to put it on the market ”, explained the CEO of Stella Tecnologia.
The executive also commented that Atobá could lead Brazil to become an exporter of multi-purpose surveillance, security, civil and military technology. “We are developing the capacity to develop this technology in Brazil, training professionals capable of doing this and developing the capacity of Brazil to have technological independence in this regard, to export products and generate jobs,” he said.