Drones Put To Use In ERAU Marine Mammal Rescue Program
Embry-Riddle, Verizon Partner On Novel Marine Conservation Program
In an effort to safely and humanely rescue marine mammals, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has partnered with marine biologists and a Verizon drone-management platform to monitor animals in distress using unmanned aircraft systems.
“Now we can supply not only the marine biologists with which drones are the quietest and will have the least impact on the sea animals, but we’re also going to make the data available to the government and agencies that issue permits, so they have a better idea of what aircraft work best in these types of environments,” Thirtyacre said, adding that marine biologists Sarah Callan and Brittany Arivizu also participated in the project.
College of Aeronautics Dean Kenneth Witcher said the partnership between Embry-Riddle and Verizon provides a unique opportunity.
“Through partnerships with companies like Skyward/Verizon, we are able to discover the value of remotely piloted aircraft systems in very innovative ways from a professional aviation perspective, leveraging our experience and safety culture,” Witcher said.
Brookshire said the data will also be shared with other scientists and rescue organizations, so they can incorporate drones into their efforts and get more information on how to help the animals.
“Monitoring seals is just the beginning,” she said.