From improving efficient farming to monitoring endangered wildlife in remote areas, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) have made a splash in environmental sustainability. These powerful vehicles have been making waves in ocean conservation efforts around the world. UAS technology allows scientists a new perspective when researching and protecting marine life.
Without significant changes, more than half of the world’s marine species may stand on the brink of extinction by 2100. From plastic pollution to rising sea levels, marine biologists and conservationists are in need of more efficient and practical ways to protect our oceans. Traditional methods used to observe and track marine life with boats, helicopters, low flying airplanes and satellites are not only costly and time-consuming but also dangerous. These outdated methods have started to decline as researchers and marine biologists across the globe are turning to UAS technology.
UAS are proving to be a critical tool for ocean and marine life conservation. Right now, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is using UAS technology to identify whales entangled in fishing nets and other pollutive debris. Rescue teams can look at UAS imagery to determine how the whale is entangled, and more quickly identify how to set the whale free. Using UAS technology minimizes danger for both parties and reduces time and money.
Ocean conservationists are able to do more with their missions by deploying UAS like the FlightWave Edge. The Edge is a vertical take-off and landing fixed-wing craft that transitions into regular flight after take-off, enabling it to stay aloft far longer, cover more ground and take off or land from almost any maritime site location. The Edge’s tiltpods enable a smooth transition from vertical takeoff into forward flight, even against the ocean’s high winds. These UAS have the unparalleled ability to protect our oceans, from monitoring sea lion populations to tracking coral reefs to much more.