University of Southampton students and staff are working to create drones which will help in the fights against climate change and poaching.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more commonly known as drones, can access hard-to-reach global locations, enabling the efficient monitoring of regional shifts in climate. However, the technology required to build and sustain drone activity can be highly expensive, hindering research and development.
But a £15,000 donation from Dr Ewan Kirk, a Cambridge-based technology entrepreneur who studied at the University of Southampton, means that three groups of final year students will be working to extend the battery life of drones and improve their efficiency. Next year, the groups will take a trip to Guatemala in an attempt to monitor a live volcano using the technology that they have developed.
Dr Ewan commented, ‘in the future, it is totally possible that remote and hostile environments worldwide will be constantly monitored by drones, feeding back live data to environmental agencies, so we can track our global ecosystem in real-time‘. He hopes that the technology being developed thanks in part to his donation will help to conserve endangered animals and track our global ecosystem in real time, enabling a greater understanding of our effects on the planet.