Australia Is Testing Drones To Spot Sharks In The Water

“A drone sent up over the ocean off the coast is providing more than scenic views. It’s giving lifeguards startling insight into just how many sharks circle only feet away from their beach. If the shark is big enough to pose a danger, warnings can be issued in a timely manner or the beach can be closed. The drone mapping provided a low-impact way to study the fragile atoll ecosystem, which scientists will be monitoring over the coming years.”

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It says something about the Australians’ love of the outdoors that surfing is still popular despite seemingly daily shark attacks. The Aussies are also being proactive about it: In New South Wales, the seas are now patrolled by this shark-spotting drone.

The drone will work like a miniature, autonomous version of regular sea-rescue helicopters. Called “Little Ripper,” the drone can fly for an hour on one charge and will carry video cameras which “it is hoped” can be used for shark spotting.

It says something about the Australians’ love of the outdoors that surfing is still popular despite seemingly daily shark attacks. The Aussies are also being proactive about it: In New South Wales, the seas are now patrolled by this shark-spotting drone.

The drone will work like a miniature, autonomous version of regular sea-rescue helicopters. Called “Little Ripper,” the drone can fly for an hour on one charge and will carry video cameras which “it is hoped” can be used for shark spotting.

Little Ripper is a U.S.-made Vapor 55 drone and looks and works like a regular helicopter instead of the usual quad-copter drone design, which floats on four rotors instead of one. The unit was chosen for its similarity to a chopper. First, it’s more stable in cross winds, and second, “it just says rescue.” One of the brains behind the drone rescue trial, Australian astronaut Paul Scully-Power, also told the Sydney Morning Herald that any drone rescue vehicle “has got to look like a helicopter, fly like a helicopter and save life like a helicopter,” proving that he has a way with the catchy quote.

Read more: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3057304/australia-is-testing-drones-to-spot-sharks-in-the-water