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Drones for Justice: Rainforest Conservation and Protection by Local Communities in Borneo, IndonesiaTayan, Kabupaten Sanggau, West Kalimantan Province, Indonesia, Jan 27 to Feb 28 This expedition aims on mapping rainforest with an extraordinary high biodiversity. The remote area is subject to anthropogenic disturbances large scale logging, mining and oil palm plantations. Indonesian spatial planning process actually gives locals a chance to influence spatial plans. The key is the locals need to provide maps proving that the forest are still exist and they need to provide that the forest is conserved and protected through the customary system sustainably. The locals need to obtain the status of “customary forest” in order to protect the remaining forest. Conventional participatory mapping might take months in remote areas, using drones is way more efficient and more accurate. Scientifically, UAVs as a method to conduct participatory mapping and to monitor land-use-changes provides a promising methods and arena for further research. Technically, very-high resolution geo-referenced map will be developed through methods of using UAV to take aerial images of the forest, then developed into maps and legal documents for the local communities. Educationally, training in mapping forest using UAVs Communities, NGOs and government agencies is believed to give community strength to support their on-going efforts in protecting the forest, thus promoting environmental and social justice. We will explore the geographical heart of Borneo in West Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. The area is covered by some of the last remaining primary rainforests worldwide, that harbors an extraordinary high biodiversity and local communities that depend on it. We use UAVs for aerial mapping, showing the importance and the beauty of this ecosystem.
My mission is to reduce blue whale death by ship-strike in the Indian Ocean. I want to use standard survey methods to verify habitat models that tell us where the whales are most at risk from ships, add photos to our Sri Lankan Photo-ID catalog that will enable us to estimate numbers of whales in this unique population, use an OpenROV to investigate areas where whales spend time to see what they might be doing at depth and to see what other species they may interact with, and take all of you - to the mystical Indian Ocean!
The first iteration of controller and Pixhawk. At the time I thought The Pi would be too big and draw too much power. Power was ok, but definitely too big. I originally planned to use three 50 watt solar panels since I could not find a 150 watt panel that was narrow enough to fit on top. The width of the hull is 21". The length is 92" I also planned to use the push pull system for the rudder. I quickly found out that even a heavy duty servo could not tolerate a week pushing water back and forth in my torture test bucket. This caused me to rethink and redesign the rudder system. I eventually went with a thru-hull rudder system. This is a typical powerboat brass rudder port mounted on top of a 1/4" carbon fiber plate. On the bottom of the hull is a 1/4" ABS plastic plate. With weight ever increasing, I went with a kayak rudder and an 1" diameter aluminum rudder shaft. After weeks breadboarding everything and testing, the final control system looked something like this. As you can see from the picture I moved from the servo rudder control to a linear servo. This one has 135 lbs of thrust and handled the bucket challenge with no problems The servo installed in the hull. I was very fortunate that the servo lined up almost perfectly with the rudder aperture. This is the only pic I could find of the servo so the candy obscures part of it. Once all the systems were figured out, the challenge became how to fit them into a small enough water tight container. This caused a lot of grief. This is a first attempt. Finally I found the perfect waterproof container for the electronics At the back are the waterproof ports for most of the electronics. The exposed sma connector attaches to the Satellite antenna. In all I drilled about 15 holes in the case for cabling. Expecting that the ocean will batter the crap out of this, I mounted a carbon fiber plate to the the hull and bolted the electronics to the hull via vibration mounts. These mounts will keep the electronics about an inch off the hull. Hopefully the vibration will be significantly reduced. Juggling family and a full time job meant that everything was done from 8pm till the wee hours of the morning, hence this taking a year (and counting). Soldering success at 3am. I had blown through 4 boards before this one by letting the solder touch and failing to clear it properly before plugging the controller board into a power source. I went with a 100AH battery after figuring in the power requirements. Just running the electronics 24/7 added up quickly not to mention powering the motor and the rudder. Since this platform is designed to drift with the current and monitor the ocean/air once it reaches a certain point, there will not be a constant high load demand on the battery. Getting to its destination is another power story entirely. lol... I wanted to be able to stay on-station for many days even in the event of a lack of sunshine. A 100ah LIFePO4 battery weighs about 26lbs. You can see the battery installed in the hull in my previous post. Once the battery was in, I then had to wire up to the charge controller and also wire up a secondary chrage port so the battery could stay charged while inside. At one point I had wires coming out of all parts of the boat. The usb ports for talking to the pixhawk and other devices are in the shot as well <a href="http://bit.ly/1zAWn1M" data-longurl="http%3A%2F%2Fbit.ly%2F1zAWn1M">twitter.com/pacificbots</a>
Pieces of field kit are arriving. Today we got the power inverter that will provide AC power to the ROV and computer while out in the field. We also got the adapter that will allow us to use the computer to record video from the ROV.
I'm not going to lie, it's been a bit of a challenge to keep posting here, on my blog, and update my Facebook, twitter and Instagram particularly given the limited internet and shortage of time while in the field. I have to say, Instagram became my best friend. Super easy to upload visual stuff and with a catchy caption -- told a nice little story of our adventures. Lot's of lessons learnt this season. The blues were a bit scarce (but this IS nature so....) but I had so many incredible firsts! I saw a feeding blue, feeding Bryde's, whale shark... and surface swarms of tiny shrimp-like creatures!! As a closing post, I want to invite you all to please subscribe to my blog at <a href="http://bit.ly/1EEbOwI" data-longurl="http%3A%2F%2Fashadevos.com">ashadevos.com</a>, follow me on twitter and Instagram <a href="/profile/ashadevos" rel="username">@ashadevos</a> and add my Facebook page <a href="http://on.fb.me/1EEbOwE" data-longurl="https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fashadevos">facebook.com/ashadevos</a>. Browse, read, enjoy and share! To wrap up this season, I just posted this great little video by my intern Holly Wetherall titled 'Good Krill* Hunting' we hope you enjoy and share it because you just might inspire the next generation of ocean heroes! -- Here at The Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project we are interested in the holistic picture. While our primary study species is the Northern Indian Ocean pygmy blue whale we get excited when we see all marine life, whale poo or even tiny shrimp-like creatures! Here is yet another sneak peek into our fun lives off southern Sri Lanka. I want to thank my 2015 field team for all their fabulous work and great attitude throughout the season, and particularly Holly for putting this little gem together! Through this series of videos (starting in 2013: <a href="http://bit.ly/1EEbOgq" data-longurl="https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fchannel%2FUCf-iI1ECdQqENt3MB3en52Q%29">youtube.com/channel/UCf-iI1ECdQqENt3MB3en52Q)</a> we try to give you a glimpse into our lives and show you that the world is your oyster, as long as you are fuelled by curiosity! Please enjoy and share - you might help inspire the next generation of ocean heroes :) Big thanks to the Department of Wildlife Conservation in Sri Lanka for their continuous support and research permits for our work. The 2015 field season was made possible by The Marisla Foundation, Packard Endowment Grant for Science and Technology, The Marine Conservation Action Fund of the New England Aquarium, and all those amazing people who funded us through our OpenExplorer crowd-funding campaign (<a href="http://bit.ly/1ugOBHF" data-longurl="http%3A%2F%2Fashadevos.com%2F%3Fpage_id%3D448">ashadevos.com/?page_id=448</a>)!
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, established in 2000, seeks to advance environmental conservation, scientific research, and improve the quality of life in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit http://www.moore.org/
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