We are using two types of unmanned aircraft systems, a fixed wing system and a hexacopter, to take images of the populations, along with traditional aerial surveys using two different camera angles on the NOAA Twin Otter aircraft.

This approach provides four different views of the animals and should help us get a better estimate of gray seal abundance on the island and where the animals are in the pupping season process. It also allows us to evaluate the pros and cons of various technologies available to survey wildlife populations.

The article provides one of the first comparisons I’ve come across between the relative strengths of different UAS designs in a specific application beyond basic concepts like fixed wings are better for longer flights.


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