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Sulphur monitoring

IMO 2020 Global Sulphur (SO2) Cap Compliance Monitoring with UAV

On October 27, 2016 the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) agreed that the sulphur content of fuel oils used on board ships shall not exceed 0.50%m/m from 1 January, 2020. This Sulphur Limit was made mandatory under Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

Frome January 1, 2020, ships for port of call may be subjected to verification on compliance with the sulphur limit. The enforcement/check steps are currently as follows:

STEP 1 Document check

STEP 2 Indicative fuel oil analysis (portable fuel oil sulphur content measurement tool)

STEP 3 Detailed fuel oil analysis (sampling for laboratory test)


How can authorities enforce the new sulphur regulations in a more effective manner?

Nordic Unmanned can provide Unmanned Aerial Systems and services for IMO 2020 compliance monitoring. The sensor is capable of detecting and measuring levels of SO2, CO2, NO2, NO.

European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) late 2018 contracted Nordic Unmanned on a four-year contract to perform Sulphur measurements utilizing Skeldar V-200 UAV as sensor carrier.

With the airborne sensing capacity EMSA can add another dimension to the enforcement of pollution regulations in the ECA zones. Vessels can now be controlled before arriving the port. If measurements are above limitations, the ships port of call can get a notification to proceed with further fuel sampling.

For reference, please see press release from EMSA

Press Release EMSA

Why use an airborne capacity

  • Effective – Measure sulphur emissions from more vessels in less amount of time
  • Proactive – By enforcing the regulations with airborne sensors it will be less tempting for vessels to use high sulphur fuels
  • Focus – We enable our customers to focus their resources where they are most needed – on the vessels that are not compliant
  • Understanding – Improved understanding and awareness of where and when vessels do not comply