US company Airware has deployed an Aerial Ranger unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to track down rhino poachers in Kenya’s Ol Pejeta conservancy – East Africa’s largest black rhino reserve – in an effort to showcase the potential of such aircraft.
Airware in December sent a three-person team to Kenya to carry out in-field tests of the Aerial Ranger to see how it could observe, track and protect wildlife.
Airware specialises in building UAV hardware, software and firmware. The company plans to launch its commercial UAV platform later this year and in anticipation of this, it wanted to educate people on the positive uses of UAVs, according to Airware founder and CEO Jonathan Downey.
As a result, Airware deployed the Aerial Ranger to Kenya to monitor for poachers, with Airware supplying the autopilot and control software. “The drone, equipped with Airware’s autopilot platform and control software, acts as both a deterrent and a surveillance tool, sending real-time digital video and thermal imaging feeds of animals – and poachers – to rangers on the ground using both fixed and gimbal-mounted cameras,” Airware said. … (Read more)