An expedition carried out in remote atolls in Belize with two Aeromapper Talon Amphibious fixed wing drones was successfully completed on early 2019. The pioneering drone expedition was part of a series of trials to test the technology against illegal fishing activities and to help with conservation efforts on marine protected areas.
The drone operations accomplished a series of records and important achievements. The drones flew a total distance of 263 km over marine areas, in 24 flights, averaging a distance of 11 km away from operators in Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) ops, and landed on the ocean every time, successfully gathering data of illegal fishing activities and for marine ecology efforts, demonstrating that the technology works and can be replicated to similar environments and projects.
The drones were equipped with a dual setup of cameras: a forward-looking camera with video downlink to long distances. The camera panned left to right in order to scout great portions of land or water or to lock-on on a point of interest while the drone loitered, which allowed a semi-permanent view of a particular area. The camera also recorded HD video which turned out very useful for post-flight analysis by the marine biologists and the enforcement team.
The second camera captured vertical imagery that was used to create high resolution orthomosaics which revealed further details of the area surveyed. The images were later geo-referenced and the data captured identified environmental issues, such as accumulation of plastic debris, and of sargassum seaweed which can cause deoxygenation of the water and block out sunlight, or fishers past activity, for example. The combined information provides a clear picture of how the atolls are being used by both animals and illegal fishers. The knowledge is then utilized to make changes or recommendations on the policies governing the use of the marine area, as well as for prosecution of the illegal activities.
The drones were normally launched from a beach, but the expedition team also successfully launched the drones from a small boat on numerous occasions.
For additional details read the full report here.
The Amphibious version of the Aeromapper Talon allows maritime operations by autonomously belly landing on water. It’s the perfect solution for scouting, data collection and mapping thanks to its dual camera set up and long-range video link, up to 2hr endurance and demonstrated BVLOS capabilities up to 30kms from the operators.
The only truly amphibious multipurpose fixed wing drone in the market today, it can sustain repeated operations in salt or fresh water. Ideal for applications such as:
- Marine research and conservation
- Search and rescue
- Water quality monitoring
- Off-shore infrastructure inspection
- Coastal surveying
- Marine management
More information about the Aeromapper Talon Amphibious