Drone (or UAV/UAS) technology suits a myriad of conservation and environmental protection applications — offering quick, easy and cost-effective aerial imagery, on demand.

From glacial feature modeling and erosion monitoring to animal counting and species identification, the list of projects that drones are being used for is long and continues to grow.

Rotary (helicopter) drone systems are best suited to monitoring and charting smaller areas, enabling Skyscene operators to capture video imagery and respond to this feedback live, while our fixed-wing eBee allows us to map larger areas in a single autonomous flight.

There are many reasons why professionals such as environmental engineers and scientific researchers are increasingly using Skyscene’s service, often in place of terrestrial surveying equipment or traditional aerial imaging services. The benefits these professionals often mention include:

  • A drone can be launched on demand—weather and regulation permitting—without needing to source and book manned aircraft services (if these exist in the region) or commission and wait for satellite imagery.

  • A UAV produces completely up-to-date imagery. This makes drones suited to time-sensitive projects and for monitoring locations at regular intervals (i.e. using the same flight plan each time).

  • Flying at much lower altitudes than traditional aircraft aids in higher definition and clarity of images acquired. This allows much better use of gathered data.

  • Unlike traditional surveying techniques, using a drone is fast and requires minimal staff, plus using an aerial approach overcomes common site access issues such as impenetrable vegetation, boulders, crevasses etc.

  • The per-project cost of Skyscene’s professional drone service is typically much lower than traditional third-party alternatives such as manned imaging aircraft.

  • Small and light electric-powered drones, especially fixed-wing aircraft, make little noise and are often bird-shaped, meaning animals on the ground are rarely disturbed by these tools, if they notice them at all.
  • Animal Management & Conservation
    • Animal/flock counting
    • Camera trap image retrieval
    • Vessel monitoring (e.g. whaling ships)
    • Animal tracking (e.g. via radio tracker collars/triangulation)
    • Migration tracking
    • Perimeter assessment
    • Habitat mapping
    • Anti-poaching activities (identification, deterrence)
    • Nest surveys
    • Species identification
  • Plant Conservation
    • Plant health/stress analysis
    • Soil property and moisture analysis
    • Biomass estimation
    • Growth/coverage monitoring
    • Plant/tree counting
    • Species identification
  • Forestry
    • Vegetation health analysis
    • Biomass estimation
    • Fire detection and tracking
    • Storm damage assessment

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