In 2016 more than 5000 humans died when they tried to reach Europe via the Mediterranean sea. There are a number of private organisations like Seawatch e.V. or Sea-Eye which try to rescue people in distress from drowning.
One major problem is to find ships in distress. The usual way for the rescue ships is to observe the sea with binoculars. Seawatch has started a civil aerial reconnessaince mission "Moonbird" to overcome the limitations of search operations from the rescue vessels. The idea of this project is to assist the search operations with an unmanned drone that can be launched from the rescue vessels.
The development of the drone is done in cooperation with SearchWing Berlin who presented the idea on the Chaos Communication Congress 2016 - "Searchwing - mit Drohnen Leben retten". We started in Augsburg in May 2017.
The plan is to provide drones to rescue vessels that operate in the Mediterranean in 2019.
We are about 12 people from the area of Augsburg. Some are students from the University of Applied Sciences Augsburg. Some are engineers and others are simply interested in the design of a drone. We are also interested in the political aspects of saving people from drowning.
More info: Wiki