If you are interested in civil UAS employment, you´ve probably already heard about precision agriculture. But what about a drone potential in aquaculture? The National Fisheries Institute (Inapesca), under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Sagarpa) is currently about to use three unmanned aircraft vehicles for the coast and sea areas survey purposes. The main goal is to find areas suitable for further aquaculture development. Generaly speaking, the UAVs will be gathering informations about the qualities of aquaculture resources, the ocean currents and so on. The gathered data could be used as a basic element for the further desing of aquaculture developement in the Pacific coast and Gulf of Mexico, but also in inland water territories, like ponds.
The drones are equipped with high resolutions cameras which allow to trace and map the coastal environment character and the harvest capacity which is still ecological. It is supposed they would gather even more valuable informations using infrared cameras. Apparently, thermal imaging is an incredibly great helper in searching for animal species in heavily accesible locations. The National Fisheries Institute presume the copters will be able to measure the chemical, physical and microbiological water variables, like salinity, temperature, chlorophyll, oxygen and algal blooms. They also expect the UAS will be contribute to development of studies in agricultural areas which are hard to get to. These drones are also supposed to gain useful informations about the surface profile, the sea shape, harvest status and more.
And then the data will be gathered into a database and image catalogue for the following utilization. This databaze should be intended for the Inapesca researchers. Well, that seems to be an ambitious and promising plan. Actually, there have been even early studies of Sagarpa, reported in a press release. The studies included the sea cucumber from Yucatan, the yellow turtle and shrimp farms. Regarding this reports, Sagarpa was aimed to provide theoretical and practical workshops for Inapesca specialists who will participate in the implementation of research on water bodies and the continent. Can´t argue with that. The sooner more of companies and institutios will discover the UAS benefits in their fields of activity, the better chance for more effective way of the drone development will be possible.