AUT Drone Lab Antarctic Conservation

17 Jun, 2021
AUT Drone Lab group photo
Left to right: Len Gillman, Ashray Doshi, Barbara Bollard and Melinda Waterman
AUT’s Drone Lab, part of the School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, is part of the Australian Research Council $A36m project Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future (SAEF) project.
SAEF is an international research endeavour that will deliver interdisciplinary science to:
  • forecast environmental change across Antarctica, the sub-Antarctic and the Southern Ocean;
  • deploy effective environmental stewardship strategies in the face of this change;
  • secure Antarctica as a natural reserve devoted to peace and science.
Associate Professor Barbara Bollard will lead the project “Drone Mapping for Antarctic Conservation” with Professor Len Gillman and Ashray Doshi, Chief Pilot and Unmanned aerial systems engineer. The team has significant experience flying drones in Antarctica and their expertise will be crucial for the project’s success.
Associate Professor Bollard says they are hoping to get back to the ice in November and again in January or February 2022. “Our research plans have of course been delayed by the pandemic, but we are hopeful we will be able to get down to Antarctica this season.
“This project will use drones to measure vegetation in Antarctica, helping map locations and vegetation and monitoring its change over time.”

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