The UEXE team are testing the use of lightweight consumer grade drones for collecting glitter observations.
Before any drone flights and testing could begin the UEXE team have upgraded the global position system (GPS) chips in the 3DR Solo drone that they are using for the SArONG project. The m7n GNSS GPS chip was upgraded to the m8n version. This upgrade improves the spatial accuracy of the onboard GPS from 4.0 m to 2.0 m Circular Error Probability (CEP).
Whilst we had the drone in pieces we also connected the two of the 16 megapixel MAPIR infrared (NIR) cameras onto the Solo’s accessory bay. These are one of the camera systems that we are going to use to collect glitter observations in the coastal zone. These cameras can collect observations in the red and NIR part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The UEXE team will carry out their first drone fieldwork in February 2017.