A drone with technology that can detect wildlife in the field has attracted attention from the other side of the ocean. A Canadian television crew from Discovery Channel was on location an early morning in Central Jutland with scientists from the Department of Engineering at AU Foulum and the commercial company Sky-Watch in order to film research as it happens.
The full moon shines brightly in the otherwise dark, cool and quiet morning in the valley Nørreådalen in Central Jutland, Denmark. As the sun takes over the task of lighting up the day, the fog lifts her skirts from the dew-wet grass. The meadows exude an aura of mystique until nature shakes off the foggy blanket and unveils some of her secrets.
Nature is not the only presence. A television crew from the Candian Discovery Channel has come to film a project that scientists from the Department of Engineering at AU Foulum are collaborating on with the commercial company Sky-Watch in Støvring in northern Denmark. Using drones the project is well on its way to creating technology that can reveal some of nature’s morning secrets. The drone and its newly developed technology have raised so much interest on the other side of the Atlantic that the TV host Dan Riskin, who is known in Canada from the daily science program Daily Planet, has come all the way to Denmark together with a producer and photographer in order to shoot film about this exciting project.
One of the things that nature hides in the long grass is wildlife, which all too often gets mangled or killed in the large harvesters. The grass harvesters mow the meadows in the early summer. This is the same period as young deer fawns lie down flat to the ground in hopes of not being discovered. That is a good strategy to apply to avoid predators but very risky behaviour when an omnivorous harvester approaches. The result can be quite grusome.
The university scientists and the commercial company are working on deveoping a drone that uses heat sensors and cameras to spot warm-blooded animals in the tall gras. The aim is to develop the drone so it can identify the type of animal, send a message to the driver of the harvesting machine before he mows down the animal, and scare or lure the animal away using sounds that are tailor-made for the specific species.