Drones Seek Out Lost Shipwrecks Below Lake Huron

Maritime archaeologists use drone maps to survey shallow-water shipwrecks in marine sanctuary

DroneDeploy
Sep 20, 2017 · 6 min read

Oceans Unmanned Helps Researchers Crack the Code on UAV Technology

For those of us who fly drones on a daily basis, it’s easy to forget that UAVs are still a foreign technology to most people. Even maritime archeologists, who often work with complex tools, might not immediately feel comfortable around drones.

Drones Offer Alternative for Underwater Survey Along Shallow, Rocky Shorelines

Traditionally, maritime archaeologists use underwater survey tools to locate shipwrecks. A sensor is mounted and operated from a manned research vessel, or an autonomous underwater vehicle is equipped with sensors. At Thunder Bay this becomes problematic.

This orthomosaic drone map shows two timbers from a historic shipwreck in Thunder Bay.
Geo-tagged maps pinpoint the exact location of shipwrecks, making the job of research divers safer and more expedient.

“DroneDeploy turns any off-the-shelf drone into a professional mapping and survey tool. It’s the natural choice for our work.” — Brian Taggart, Oceans Unmanned [click-to-tweet]

Researchers can now take initial measurements of wreck debris from directly within DroneDeploy and then export that data into GIS software for further analysis. This doesn’t eliminate the need to send divers down to a site, but it does help prioritize wreckage, so divers only have to be sent to targeted areas. Reducing the time divers spend in the water cuts costs and reduces the chance of diving accidents.

Scientists take measurements of shipwreck debris after importing DroneDeploy data into Quick Terrain (QT) Modeler software.

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Where to Learn More

Want to keep up with the exciting work being done by Oceans Unmanned? Follow them on Twitter.

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DroneDeploy is the leading cloud software platform for commercial drones. Learn more at www.dronedeploy.com

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DroneDeploy is the leading cloud software platform for commercial drones.

DroneDeploy's Blog

DroneDeploy is the leading cloud software platform for commercial drones. Learn more at www.dronedeploy.com