Air Shepherd Drones To Help Stop Animal Poaching
In an attempt to reduce the poaching and killing of animals in Africa, drones are being deployed to help with the situation. Every year, a huge number of elephants and rhinos are murdered for their tusks and horns, with 40,000 elephants killed just last year. This rapid growth in poaching will lead to these beautiful animals to soon go extinct.
In a step towards combating the problem, the Air Shepherd works as a drone and advanced computer system that helps in detecting poachers and killers. Air Shepherd is a project of The Lindbergh Foundation and helps in maintaining constant surveillance when Rangers can’t.
Through the day when there is light out, Rangers have a great system of keeping poachers at bay and so most poachers operate when it gets dark and it is difficult for rangers to track them and keep an eye everywhere. This is where the drones come in – using infrared cameras and GPS they send back thermal images of animals and poachers.
These drones fly silently and without being seen, helping in giving the Rangers and drone operators the location of the poachers before any animal is harmed. In fact, their Indiegogo campaign claims, “It works. Flying in one area where as many as 19 rhinos were killed each month, there have been no deaths – for six months. None at all.”
The process works by positioning ranges in particular places so they cover the whole area and arranging a Mobile Ground Control Center that is as close to the threat area as possible and will let the drone be launched and controlled easily.
Predictive analysis helps the drone follow a preplanned path automatically and cover the whole ground. The batteries can be swapped out for charged ones to allow longer flight times. If an anomaly is identified the drone notifies the ground control system and all that has been recorded on the infrared cameras will be transmitted back. A complete record of everything will also be collected and stored for future analysis.