Guangdong Police Dept is increasingly using AI drones to monitor port areas and coastal areas. This involves not only surveillance to combat contraband smuggling, but also providing aerial assistance during arrests. Let's see how they plan missions, collect data, and overcome challenges at sea.

Guangdong Police Dept was facing challenges such as drug smuggling and other crimes. However, it was difficult to monitor the huge container terminals, ports going, and industrial areas along the coast. With just one port covering an area of over 10,000 hectares, fixed surveillance cameras could only cover a small portion of these areas. Guangdong Police Dept had also used traditional helicopters to perform maritime inspections, but helicopters had limited loads and high maintenance costs. For these reasons, Guangdong Police Dept considered using drones and even set up a drone team.

"Not only does the UAV give public security a cheaper option for surveying waters than a helicopter, but the former is also easier to launch and maintain. It is very difficult to detect by smugglers and keeps ships out of harm's way," said Wang Xiang, head of the Guangdong Police Dept drone team.

What are the needs of the Guangdong Police Dept?

The project tested a specially produced drone that scanned coastal waters from the air to identify material transfers between vessels, or other typical activities that smugglers often engage in.

The Guangdong Police Dept and related technology companies decided on custom-made drones with artificial intelligence that allowed for automated deployment and machine interpretation of potential drug smuggling activity below. The craft should also be designed to withstand high winds and often rainy weather at sea, fly beyond line of sight for up to 100 kilometers and be able to take off and land from ground locations or ships.

Wang Xiang said: "There are many things to consider when choosing a UAV manufacturer, such as quality, reliability, after-sales service, and UAV training. We did a detailed market study and finally chose JOUAV's CW-25DE VTOL drone."

Using CW-25DE at night

Using the CW-25DE with an infrared camera

On October 8, 2022, the team used the latest AI drone, the CW-25DE equipped with the MG-150E gimbal camera. Thanks to the MG-150E's combination of a thermal camera and a 30x visible camera, the CW-25DE can be used both in daylight and in the dark. This UAV is also equipped with a shouter, enabling real-time aerial shouting and broadcasting warnings and sirens to deter smugglers.

CW-25DE found suspicious smuggling boat

"We can see well at night and during the day, and we see - as expected - more than before," said Wang Xiang, "Thanks to the good zoom function and 100km of control range, we can also get sharp images from very far away and then transmit live videos back to the command center. Its artificial intelligence will allow for automated deployment and machine interpretation of potential smuggling activity below. "

"The CW-25DE police drone is useful not only when we are doing surveillance, but also when we are doing reconnaissance work. Our team is sometimes deployed by our Special Assistance Team colleagues during arrests as well," commented Wangxiang.

From 22:00 pm on October 8 to 6:00 am on October 9, the CW-25D VTOL drone was in the air for four hours and had a total of four flights, effectively patrolling a sea area with a diameter of 30-50km. In the end, the drone team assisted Guangdong Police Dept in arresting two smugglers and captured nearly one ton of contraband.

Surveillance area


Now, the drone team is using the CW-25DE  almost daily. Drone surveillance to track drug shipments at sea, or for tracking suspicious cargo on land is also particularly effective. In the future, it is also conceivable to use drones against so-called drug collectors (people who take drugs out of containers).

Within Guangdong Police Dept, more employees are being trained as pilots. We are also busy forming drone teams in other regions," said Wang Xiang, "After all, a bird's-eye view can bring added value to law enforcement everywhere."

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