SARA idea has been stimulated starting by a patent filed (July,3th 2015 – #102015000030672 “Aeromobile drone e stazione di cambio batteria per tale aeromobile”) which is based on a proprietary RPAS multirotor tightly coupled to a base station (HANGAR) able to change the RPAS exhaust battery with a charged one. The same system could be modified by substitution of the battery change tool with a winch tool system winding a tethering cable for power supply of the aircraft.

Figure 1‑10  shows some CAD sketches of the design of concept in two configurations

The “killer application” for SAV-TV has been identified, by the Italian Coast Guard Stakeholder, inside maritime Search and Rescue applications, especially for night time operations tailor made on shipwrecks survivors rescue. The system will be designed to be tightly coupled inside the vessel, but also easily reusable for other markets. The conceived architecture realizes a deep innovation if compared with the process today used by users (overall Coast Guard Organizations), mainly for drastic reduction of operational time (and its related cost) and for increasing HR safety. The main functions of the architecture of the tethered RPAS system are hereafter detailed:


  • Hovering Accuracy (P-Mode /F-Mode): Vertical: ±0.5 m, Horizontal: ±1.5 m;
  • Max angular velocity: Pitch: 300°/s, Yaw: 150°/s;
  • Max pitch and roll angle: 30°;
  • Max rate of climb: 5 m/s (2 m/s tethered);
  • Max rate of descend: 4 m/s (2 m/s tethered);
  • Max Horizontal speed:
    • Manual: 19 m/s (no payload, no cable);
    • Assisted: 17 m/s (no payload, no cable);
    • Follow-the-ship Mode (F-Mode): 5 knots;
  • Max Wind Resistance: 10 m/s (14 m/s wind gust);
  • Max Take-off Weight: 12.00 Kg;
  • Max Payload: 1.50 Kg;
  • Operating Temperature: -10° to 45°;
  • Endurance (tethered): up to 8 hours of persistent operations.
  • RPA Weight (no battery, no FDDC, no payload): 4,50 kg;
  • Emergency Battery: 0,70 Kg;
  • FDDC Unit (Flying DC/DC Converter): 2,30 Kg;
  • Payload: 1,5 Kg;
  • Cable @100 meter: 1,9 Kg;
  • Operating Mass with SAR payload: 9,10 Kg @50 meters;
  • CG ( ) tolerance: +- 3° on arms 1-3 +- 3° on arms 2-4 +- 3° on arms 5-6.


  • Primary C&C Link: Digital over cable (IP, Internet Protocol);
  • Auxiliary C&C Link: 2.4 GHz digital 100 mW EIRP – 3.5 Km range (unobstructed, free of interference) CE compliant;
  • Primary Video Link: Digital over cable (IP, Internet Protocol);
  • Auxiliary Video Link: 5.8 GHz digital – 3.5 Km range (unobstructed, free of interference) CE compliant;


  • Optical/Thermal Custom Payload;

Compatible Commercial payload 

  • DJI ZENMUSE Z30 – Optical Payload with 30X optical zoom (Day operations);
  • DJI ZENMUSE FLIR XT2 – Thermal/Optical Payload with 640×512 Thermal radiometric sensor (Night operations)


Real time indication of estimated target bearing, range and Geographical coordinates on Terminal

  • Day operation
    • Survivor swimming (Critical dimension: 0,5m), Optics: 13mm, Maximum Detection Range: 700 m;
    • Small Vessel at the horizon (Critical dimension: 28,7m), Optics: 13mm, Max Range: 8 Nautical Miles;
  • Night operation
    • Survivor swimming (0,5m): Optics: 13mm, Range Max: 300 m;
    • Small Vessel at the horizon (Critical dimension: 28,7m), Optics: 13mm, Max Range: 5 Nautical Miles

SARA Architecture: Terminal

SARA User Terminal has been developed on AERONAV platform

This project has received funding from the European GNSS Agency (grant agreement No 776099), under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme GALILEO-3-2017.


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