top of page

UAVAID and Archangel Imaging Announce UKRI Funding Award for AI Drone Coastal Surveillance

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

UAVaid and Archangel Imaging are delighted to announce the launch of Project SEAWATCH, with funding awarded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Future Flight Challenge programme.

Project SEAWATCH will develop the critical technology for a new airborne surveillance system that combines the operational benefits of drones with cutting-edge machine vision AI (artificial intelligence) to create a low-cost solution for the aerial monitoring of coastal waters, improving Safety at Sea and EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) protection.

SeaWatch aims to leverage innovation advances in both ‘drone’ Unmanned Aviation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) computer processing, to develop an aircraft system capable of patrolling coastal waters for a fraction of the current cost and resource footprint, automatically identifying and classifying vessels in the water, and alerting the relevant authorities to help save lives and protect the EEZ.

The project will support the safe and secure use of the UK’s coastal waters, creating new capabilities for the cost effective monitoring of coastal resources. With strong export potential, the platform will create new and affordable opportunities for developing countries as they grapple with the impact of climate change on their coastal and fishing communities.

The support from UKRI through the Future Flight Challenge programme will enable the consortium members , already leaders in their individual respective fields, to develop the necessary technologies to realise this vision.

Daniel Ronen, co-founder of UAVaid said, “We are delighted and grateful to UKRI for the funding to enable the development of the critical innovation for Project SEAWATCH. This project represents a significant opportunity to bring together the benefits of unmanned aviation and artificial intelligence for improving safety at sea and security for coastal water users, domestically and for export markets.”

Charles Smith, CCO at Archangel Imaging said, “The investment as part of the Future Flight Challenge enables us to further develop our AI and deliver real-world benefits to both users and those that Seawatch will help to protect. We see low-cost monitoring in difficult environments as a key challenge for AI and an area of focus for Archangel Imaging. We are delighted to be a part of this project and to continue our strong working relationship with UAVaid.”

Project SEAWATCH will be exhibiting at the DroneX exhibition, on the UKRI Future Flight stand, 7-8 September 2022, Excel Centre, London.

UAVAID LTD UAVAid are a UK based developer and operator of Unmanned Aerial Systems AKA ‘drones’. Specialising in systems optimised for applications in remote and difficult to reach areas, such as humanitarian and global development (GD). UAVaid was established in London in 2014 by two brothers, Daniel and James Ronen. They operate a mixed fleet of BVLOS drones, including their proprietary multi-role HANSARD, which incorporates cargo delivery, mapping and live aerial surveillance, onto a single platform. Award winning UAVaid have completed projects in UK, EU, Malawi and Sierra Leone and are actively engaged in cutting edge R&D to extend the safety and capabilities of unmanned aviation.

For more information contact: Daniel Ronen at


Archangel Imaging deploys smart machines alongside people to protect valuable remote assets and at-risk staff. Today’s machines are mostly tools, not team mates. Our technology is retrofitted to make machines smarter, more resilient team mates, independent from infrastructure. We then integrate best-in-class AI, satellite analytics, robots, drones and IoT into human workflows. These hybrid teams respond faster and more effectively to safety or security threats. The Argonaut™ AI cameras watch for poachers in Africa or potential suicides on the European railways. The Xnaut GENIE navigation units enable any drone to independently navigate and complete missions without GPS signals. Our technology is trusted by commercial and government customers such as Ministry of Defence, Network Rail, European Space Agency and British Transport Police and has been recognised with awards, such as AIConics ‘AI for Good’ award presented at 10 Downing Street.


UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is the largest public funder of research and innovation in the UK, with a budget of over £8bn. It is composed of seven disciplinary research councils, Innovate UK and Research England. We operate across the whole country and work with our many partners in higher education, research organisations businesses, government, and charities. Our vision is for an outstanding research and innovation system in the UK that gives everyone the opportunity to contribute and to benefit, enriching lives locally, nationally and internationally. Our mission is to convene, catalyse and invest in close collaboration with others to build a thriving, inclusive research and innovation system that connects discovery to prosperity and public good. UKRI continues to support the research and innovation community to navigate the transitions associated with the exit of the UK from the EU. To keep up to date please visit our dedicated pages.



bottom of page