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Caravel UAV provides off-shore surveillance and awareness by means of a hydrogen powered, compact UAV and GCS.

Type Startup or self-employed
Founded 2021
Company Size 5
Member Type
Founders Pietro Campolucci, Till Blaha, Jack Hayton, Bart Remes, Tomaso De Ponti
Headquarters 2629 HS Delft, Pays-Bas
Social network


As of today, offshore flight navigation and surveillance is still not advanced enough to enable governmental or NGO vessels to act quickly in response to an emergency concerning unknown floating objects. Better inspection of these is usually carried over by means of rescue speedboats (slow and dangerous) or helicopters (expensive and bulky). Remote inspection by means of drones is not only easier and less impactful, but also allows the operators on the ship to take faster decisions that are vital for the safety of the ship (in case of hostile attack) or the target (in case of human trafficking). As a solution, Caravel UAV proposes an unmanned air vehicle and an infrastructure for landing and take off from vessels which allows for easy, compact and less expensive operation. The drone will fulfil a subset of the functions of current, manned helicopters at a fraction of the investment, operating and maintenance costs and at lower risk for human operators. Therefore, it both increases the capabilities for such surveillance missions and it reduces the overall cost. In addition, the vehicle would also enable entities that do not operate helicopters to implement accurate surveillance on their vessels. The Nederdrone consists of a 3m wingspan, hybrid powered (battery and hydrogen), double wing drone with excellent resistance to wind gusts and bad weather conditions. The drone is not only able to efficiently navigate in the challenging offshore environments, but thanks to the hybrid propulsion system is able to currently operate for more than 3.5 hours, allowing it to navigate and inspect locations out of the line of sight of the ship with extreme accuracy. The drone presents a combination of extremely valuable features that makes it unique in the UAS Surveillance market. The innovative design and control architecture (INDI) allows the aircraft to take off and land vertically in many adverse conditions (wind, storm, rain). This makes it perfect for offshore use, where space is limited and winds are strong. The drone also offers highly competitive endurance, despite the absence of fossil fueled propulsion, widely adopted on high endurance surveillance drones. It is in fact completely green: a hybrid combination of hydrogen and batteries is available during power intense maneuvers, while it flies fully on hydrogen while cruising. The product has been in development at the MAVLab, a laboratory at Delft University of Technology, for more than 4 years. For this reason the proposed product is currently well within the advanced prototype stage. On November 10, 2020, the Nederdrone completed its first long flight offshore following a moving ship. Later in the year, it completed its first autonomous flight on land.
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Headquarters 2629 HS Delft, Pays-Bas

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