Drone Science Over Land & Sea – Royal Aeronautical Society Lecture

On Wednesday 9th January, our Marketing Manager Jess attended a Women’s UAV event at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London, in association with ARPAS. The event consisted of a lecture by Dr Karen Joyce (James Cook University, Australia) and Dr Karen Anderson (University of Exeter, UK) who discussed how they utilise drone-based remote sensing within their fields as environmental scientists studying dynamic ecosystems.

To begin the lecture, Dr Karen Joyce and Dr Karen Anderson highlighted the massive upsurge in the use of drones within the scientific industry and how they are changing the industry as a result. To gain scientific information small, off the shelf drones are used with slight adaptations. Both scientists discussed the benefits of using drones in comparison to previous tools such as satellite imaging/remote sensing which are not necessarily the best tool for every job due to issues such as pixilation and clouding. They mentioned how drones allow them to react quickly to events and are a much more cost-effective solution. Drones also enable both scientists to cover vast areas that may not normally be safe to enter and provide extremely clear data.

Dr Karen Joyce then went onto specifically talk through how she uses drones within her current study of the Great Barrier Reef, highlighting how she can explore the differing temperatures of the reef using a drone with a thermal camera. Dr Karen Anderson moved onto reviewing her use of drones within her study of the dessert in South America and how she is able to measure the amount of carbon in the air from photogrammetry.

Drones Being Used to Benefit Society

The discussion was concluded by the point that drones are not just commercially beneficial and can be utilised to benefit society. Current examples of this is the police force, fire services and mountain rescue – just to name a few! In order to expand this, UAV’s need to become more widely accepted by society and stamp out the conception that they are something to be feared. Both scientists also reflected on the lack of diversity within the drone industry, with Dr Joyce stating that there is only 1% of female pilots within Australia, and how we need to encourage younger generations to learn about the benefits of working with technology.

The lecture was then followed by a networking opportunity for all attendees. This enabled women to discuss how they are utilising drones within their field and to connect and learn from each other.

We look forward to attending further events in association with ARPAS and developing our knowledge of the industry! If you wish to find out about further events being held by ARPAS or the Royal Aeronautical Society, please visit their websites.