Our coral reef mapping drone combines stable boat technology, drone electronics and control, underwater photography, photogrammetry and computer vision to deliver high resolution maps of coral reefs in 2D and 3D. Our technology can be used to survey large area of shallow seafloor.
Another technology that we are developing in addition of the maritime drone image capture is the “laser quadrat”: an optical upgrade of the old mechanical quadrat used for ocean transects and surveys.
What is a "laser quadrat"?
It is an upgrade of a conventional quadrat.
The goal is to make coral mapping:
We are interested in mapping coral reefs. We are specifically concerned with any changes to the coral formation (size & shape) and health (color). Most structures that we call "coral" are, in fact, made up of hundreds of thousands of tiny coral creatures called polyps that live on the seafloor. They usually live in shallow water, where conditions are right for most corals to grow.
Coral is very important because many marine organisms live and breed around corals, and if corals dies, the fish that lives around in them are left homeless and the fish may die. Then, their predators die, and so on, we call this a "Trophic Cascade". This is why corals matter.
Corals are extremely sensitive; to coral reefs, a little goes a long way. Even a very tiny change in temperature is enough to stress out the corals and cause the coral to bleach. Corals can recover from bleaching if temperatures go back to normal, but prolonged bleaching might eventually kill the corals. Global warming and El-Nino in particular, anchor-dragging (must watch video), cyanide and dynamite fishing, other forms of water pollution, poaching, are causing unprecedented stress on coral, but it takes hundreds of years for corals to fully regenerate.
Current monitoring only allow for small areas to be studied at the time. We hope to upgrade coral reef mapping with laser technology.
For more information, please visit the instructables
Great thanks to the Hong Kong Harbour School.