Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG-SEP 2016

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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48 unmanned systems inside   August/September ugust/Septe   August/September   August/September be   August/September 2016 0 2016 6 2016 MARINE NEW TECHNOLOGY Photos courtesy of Planck Aerosystems A San Diego firm is poised to test auto- mated takeoff and landing technol- ogy that will enable drones to oper- ate without a pilot from smaller fishing vessels while the boats are moving—a breakthrough that supports "precision fishing." Planck Aerosystems, Inc. is developing "the underlying technology to put small, commer- cially available, unmanned aircraft, or drones, on a boat of any size," said Josh Wells, the firm's cofounder and CEO, during a July presentation to a meeting of the House Oceans Caucus and the Marine Technology Society in Washington. Equipping fishermen with drones will en- able them to better target the species of fish they are looking for, he told lawmakers, reduc- ing the amount of bait needed and the amount of bycatch—the nontarget species caught and frequently killed by fishing boats. More effi- cient operations will also cut fuel consumption by "giving the fishermen the ability to spend by Dee Ann Divis Automated drone launches and landings could help small- scale fishermen compete against global firms and ease some of the strain on ocean species. less time searching for fish and more time catching fish," Wells said. Operating entirely autonomously, the drones would give Planck's customers visual capabil- ity over the horizon and "real-time, actionable data to allow them to make better decisions at sea," Wells said. The unmanned aircraft sys- tem or UAS will send back an enhanced set of data including sea surface temperatures and live streaming video. The very small, very low- cost systems the firm is developing should also be able to do automated object identification— a capability that will help fishermen operating on a smaller scale compete with international corporations. There's been an explosion of companies that are doing precision something, Wells said— precision agriculture, precision inspection. "We at Planck are developing the underlying technology necessary to enable the same level of service in the ocean environment, he said. NEW AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGY ENABLES "PRECISION FISHING" DRONES Top left: A multi- spectral image of kelp and plankton, captured from a Planck drone. Bottom left: Planck Aero flies its platform and payload in its test facility.

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