First mission completed using drones in whale research

August 29, 2016 By Alan Perlman
UAV Coach

Ocean Alliance, an organization dedicated to promoting ocean and human health, has just completed the first mission using “snotbot” drones in U.S. waters to collect data from whales in a non-invasive way.

“The use of drones for research and conservation is much like the invention of the microscope for cellular biology – it has opened up a whole new world for us to discover,” says Dr. Iain Kerr, CEO of Ocean Alliance. “In our ten days on the Alaskan waters we had one single focus: collecting data, backing up data, eating, sleeping and doing it all over again. We have seen and documented hundreds of whales, including calves, with every type of feeding behavior and play. At least once a day during this mission we would look across the water and see whale blows all around us. On occasion we would shut our eyes and just listen to the cacophony of whale blows. It has been an extraordinarily successful expedition.”

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