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Australia will use drones to prevent shark attacks

Monday, 02 November 2015 07:49

Dreadful sharks will soon have a new enemy to beat: drones. Australia has decided to use unmanned aircrafts to prevent the attacks of these hazardous animals, monitoring their movements to avoid encounter along the way with humans.


The threat of sharks in Australia I more than a reality, since the country has grown from just 3 shark attacks in 2014 along the 2000km of shore, only the state of New South Wales, to experience nothing less than 13 this year. In fact, this February, a tourist from Japan died there because of the attack of one of these animals that bit off both legs.


So, then authorities exclude other options as proactive hunt of sharks, this Australian state government has promoted a program of five years and a cost of 11,5 million dollars which, between others, it includes deployment of drones on the beaches.


Drones, and manned helicopters to a lesser extent, constantly will monitor shore zones and will alert in real time the presence of any anomalies that may be indicative of the presence of sharks in the area. All these data will be received by the local authorities but also by the citizens and tourists, through a mobile app called “SharkSmart”.


Listening stations and sonar buoys

But these are not the only devices that the Australian government will launch in its fight against one of the most dangerous animal in the world. In this regard, authorities will also arise twenty listening stations in areas where sharks pass in greater numbers.


Furthermore, it will be installed a large amount of buoys in the sea equipped with the latest sonar capable of identify sharks. These buoys will be, as well as drones, connected in real time with the monitoring centrals to give warning of “Sharks ahoy” as soon as possible.


Drones on the short, becoming more frequent

The use of unmanned aircrafts in the coast is something increasingly common. The case of Australia, we have to join, for example, initiatives carried out in Chile, where already use drones to help lifeguards on the beaches. The experiment has become even more effective that a drone carrying a lifesaver came long before to give assistance to the victim than a human lifeguard.


In our country, Galicia is promoting a public-private project to promote the use of civilian drones for different tasks such as protecting the green mountains of the region from fire, but also to monitor the shore. Likewise, United States also has numerous projects combining sea and drones, from researching grey whales to control migration flows.



Possible laboratory tests (Source: Ineltec)


For drones can save life without problems; they must be safe and reliable.


How it is tested the reliability of these devices?


Drones as any other devices who is submitted to environmental conditions and you want to market it in different parts of the world, it is recommend performing tests of all types in laboratory scale to check its resistance and reliability, and its operation is not altered by external agents.


Some examples could be:


- Aging light tests combined with temperature and humidity to check that does not lose its properties when it is exposed to sunlight, temperature and humidity; this type of tests can be done in climatic chambers with UV radiation.


- Tests of IP protection over the housing enclosing all electronic devices. It is testing to check the level of protection that the enclosure has against external agents such as dust or penetration of water droplets that could seriously impair the operation of the electronics. Such tests are performed in rain or dust tightness chambers.


- In the case of drones that are going to be used on the coast, it would be advisable that the different part that compounds it were made resistant to corrosion, especially saline corrosion. These tests are performed in salt spray chambers.




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