Aerial Drones Are Being Used to Track Killer Whales

By: Rahul Kalvapalle - Oct 23, 2014
References: vanaqua.org & gizmag
Researchers from the Vancouver Aquarium in Canada and the USA's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are using aerial drones -- custom-built marine hexacopters to be specific -- to keep track of the health of endangered killer whales.

The drones track the whales from a distance of 30 meters, far enough to ensure that it doesn't disturb the whales or intrude on their behavior but just close enough to be able to collect detailed photographs -- over 30,000 photographs have already been collected over the course of 60 drone flights.

The project is still in its infancy but is already a success -- the drones have spotted killer whale pregnancies that wouldn't have been detected otherwise, and has helped identify unhealthy whales.