Silhouette Island is the third-largest island in the Seychelles, located in the Indian Ocean. The interior region of Silhouette is a national park, with a biodiversity that is one of the richest in the entire Indian Ocean. It is also home to several critically endangered plants and animals. In order to keep track of the different species on the island and gain insights into the unique ecosystem, an up-to-date map is an essential tool. However, the most recent map of the island was made by a manned flight back in the 1970s.
The island covers more than 2,100ha and is known for its rough terrain with scenic yet dramatic mountain peaks, five of which are above 500m (1,640ft) in elevation. On Silhouette Island there is a constant wind and there are obstacles, like trees, all around the take-off and landing location. Because of the stability of multirotors, a VTOL drone could resolve this challenge by being able to take off with wind speed up to 6bft.
Because of the partially or totally inaccessible areas, it is a challenge to guarantee a high relative and absolute accuracy, since it will also be impossible to use ground control points (GCPs) in such locations. The solution to this problem is to use a drone that is equipped with a post-processed kinematic (PPK) module. Similar to real-time kinematics (RTK), this module generates geotags of the photos at a far higher precision.
TFC International selected Marlyn, a drone developed by the Dutch drone manufacturer Atmos UAV to create an up-to-date map of the island. The VTOL mapping drone Marlyn is a cross-over between a multicopter and a fixed wing, having the vertical take-off and landing capabilities of helicopters and the efficient cruising of conventional aeroplanes.
As Jean-Francois Rossignol, from TFC International Ltd. said: “Without Marlyn, it would not be possible for us to map Silhouette Island, which is known as a tropical island with rough conditions.”
Visit Atmos UAV on their stand J18 at GEO Business, 22-23 May, London