AI News, AI and Drones Can Help to Save Polar Bears - IEEE Transmitter

AI and Drones Can Help to Save Polar Bears - IEEE Transmitter

AI and Drones Can Help to Save Polar Bears With all of the environmental changes affecting the Arctic sea ice, polar bears are having a difficult time surviving.

The technology is strong enough to withstand the harsh environment in the Arctic Circle, allowing a drone to be brought on an expedition to study the behavior of the polar bears as the seasons get longer and the ice is freezing later.

It uses a DJI Matrice 600 Pro hexacopter, with a “sensor pod” containing an extremely high-resolution DSLR camera, a five-band multispectral sensor generally marketed for crop monitoring, and a radar to measure ice thickness.

How The San Diego Zoo Is Using AI And Drones To Save Polar Bears

The less sea ice that’s available for the polar bears, the worse they do, the worse their survival, the worse their reproduction, the worse their body condition.” Arctic polar bears are also being forced to spend a larger portion of each year on land, a period in which they largely fast.

CHALLENGE OF INTEGRATION While a similar program last year gave the Zoo and Northrop a chance to understand the environment in which the equipment would need to operate, this year’s expedition—to the Knife Delta region some 40 kilometers north of the town of Churchill on the Hudson Bay—will be the first time the new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and its integrated sensor suite will be used to more comprehensively map and understand local sea ice formation and polar bear behavior.

“We’ve built one of the most advanced small UAVs in the world right now.” The project utilizes a DJI Matrice 600 Pro hexacopter, outfitted with a “sensor pod” containing an extremely high-resolution DSLR camera (the 50-plus megapixel Canon Eos 5DS), a five-band multispectral sensor generally marketed for crop monitoring (the MicaSense RedEdge), and a radar for measuring ice thickness developed by Aerotenna, a startup headquartered at the University of Kansas that has assisted NASA in its IceBridge mission to survey the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets.

December 2017

(Credit: Intel Corporation) Polar bears’ fortunes are deeply tied to the whims of a changing climate, and as the Arctic continues to warm it’s increasingly important to keep an eye on their populations.

On a recent Arctic mission, drones helped gather data about polar bears that will help researchers get a better idea of how climate change in the region, and around the world, affects wildlife.

The biggest threat to the Arctic polar bear population is loss of sea ice due to climate change.

Wildlife photographer and conservationist Ole Jørgen Liodden likens polar bears to the canaries miners relied on to alarm them of harmful gases.

Arctic Mission On a recent Arctic expedition, Liodden used Intel’s Falcon 8+ drone in order to shed light on the happenings of the polar bear population.

“We would typically keep the batteries inside the boat where it was warmer, or inside our jackets, then put them into the drone just before we needed to launch to keep them warmer to be able to provide the best battery life,” Nanduri said.

There are obvious advantages to using drones when it comes to wildlife research, but it’s important to ask: Does a hovering drone distress wild animals?

Above the Arctic: An Intel Drone Expedition

Our drones are built to capture high-res imagery and data in harsh winds and weather, making them uniquely positioned to aid the study of polar bears and their changing environment.

Polar Bears International

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