Valenciaport testing airships to monitor pollution and port activities

Valenciaport has tested an electrically powered airship with sensors and instruments to analyse environmental, security and maritime traffic control parameters.


This is the Autonomous Stratospheric Platforms for Maritime Monitoring (PLEAMMAR) project, which is being developed by the startup SMARTHAPS within the framework of the Ports 4.0 programme promoted by Puertos del Estado and the Port Authorities.

The airship flew over the Port of Sagunto to test the use of this technology. 

The airship was deployed at a height of 100 metres, previously coordinated and authorised by ENAIRE. The vehicle was equipped with a gyro-stabilised optical camera for the acquisition of images that were sent in real-time to the ground control station.

During the in-flight operation, various activities and areas of the port were monitored, according to the indications of the APV personnel and which had been defined in previous phases as use cases of interest for port management.

The PLEAMMAR project aims to carry out a feasibility study of the use of HAPS (High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites) for port applications such as maritime and land traffic control, security and surveillance, pollution control and logistics operations, among others.

As part of the project activities, a test was carried out using a captive (grounded) airship that could provide a demonstration of the capabilities of the future stratospheric platform. The test involved the collaboration and participation of the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV), the Valenciaport Foundation and the Sagunto Customs Administration.

This initiative is backed by Ports 4.0, with the aim of testing this technology in the field of port applications. 

In the case of the PAV, through these funds, it wants to promote sustainability and decarbonisation projects in renewable energies, efficient management of energy networks or circular economy.

The Ports 4.0 Fund was launched in 2020 in a firm commitment to innovation on the part of the ports with the aim of ensuring that both port facilities and the logistics chain continue to gain in competitiveness. To this end, the programme is looking for startups and technology companies that propose real disruptive solutions to the port challenges of the 21st century.