Aurora has partnered with OCEARCH, to provide aerial support locating and tracking great white sharks off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, the company said.
The Centaur optionally piloted DA-42 aircraft (OPA), which is equipped with a FLIR infrared sensor, flew above the expedition area in a predetermined flight pattern to help scientists onboard the OCEARCH ship target, identify and track the location of the sharks in real time.
Remotely piloted by an air vehicle operator (AVO) onboard OCEARCH´s vessel, Centaur scanned the mission area with a FLIR 230 infrared sensor to pick up heat signatures and movements in the waters below. The live downlinked imagery from the sensor displayed on Centaur´s shipboard ground control station allowed OCEARCH to enhance their mission by widening their search capabilities through the use of this technology offering.
With a total of five great whites tagged, the three-week expedition was part of the organization´s ongoing scientific research of the North Atlantic White Shark.
OCEARCH is a marine conservation organization that generates scientific data related to tracking (telemetry) and biological studies of keystone marine species as great white and tiger sharks in conjunction with conservation outreach and education at a measurable global scale.
Aurora Flight Sciences is an innovative technology company that strives to create smarter aircraft through the development of autonomous systems. Headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, Aurora operates production plants in Bridgeport, West Virginia and Columbus, Mississippi, has research and development centers in the US and one in Europe at Aurora Swiss Aerospace, located in Luzern, Switzerland.