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Showing posts from March 3, 2013

Private UAVs for Maritime Conservation Operations

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Navies and Coast Guards aren't the only organizations using unmanned air systems for maritime surveillance operations.  Drones in marine wildlife protection roles are a fast growing trend.  UAS offer several advantages to these operations.  First, they are much more affordable than manned aircraft, something that is important to non-profits on a budget.  The UAVs are also quieter than helicopters or aircraft, a critical advantage to not spooking the animals being protected and the poachers who are being monitored.  Finally, small UAS are easily and cheaply transportable to austere locations. Here are several examples of this growing trend:

In 2010, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society used an Osprey UAS produced by Hangar 18 for the first time in their Southern Ocean whaling protection campaign.  This summer's fleet of four ships has deployed to Antarctica with three drones and the aircraft have already been successful in finding the Japanese whaling fleet.

In the summer of 201…