My institution, Aberystwyth University in Wales, is working with the Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Programme to fly drones over known malaria hot spots.
In 20 minutes, a single drone is able to survey a 30 hectare rice paddy. This imagery can be processed and analysed on the same afternoon to locate and map water bodies. This has proved to be highly accurate and efficient. This is all using one of the most popular off-the-shelf drones, the Phantom 3 made by DJI. These are about the size of a shoebox, weighing a little more than a bag of sugar (1.2 kg) and are used throughout the world for both leisure and commercial photography.
We started off working in test locations across Zanzibar but now, with the support of the Innovative Vector Control Consortium – a non-for-profit partnership aiming to create novel solutions for preventing disease transmission – we’re widening our range to explore how this technology can be incorporated into operational malaria eliminating activities.
It doesn’t stop there. We plan to incorporate the drone imagery into smartphone technology to help guide larvicide spraying teams to water bodies on the ground, and to track their progress and coverage. There’s also an exciting drive towards automatically disseminating larvicide from the drones themselves.
Welcome to drone day on the Adafruit blog. Every Monday we deliver the latest news, products and more from the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), quadcopter and drone communities. Drones can be used for video & photography (dronies), civil applications, policing, farming, firefighting, military and non-military security work, such as surveillance of pipelines. Previous posts can be found via the #drone tag and our drone / UAV categories.