Michael Johnston
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Latest Activity

Michael Johnston commented on Mauricio's blog post Enabling maritime operations with an amphibious fixed wing drone
"Great work Mauricio and to the ZSL crew!"
Oct 15, 2018
Michael Johnston commented on Chris Anderson's blog post Eagles vs Drones (spoiler: Eagles win)
"Good work Eugene. Enjoyed your paper.   Do you notice any difference in eagle behaviour if the drone is flying when / where the birds are foraging or is your work mostly focusing on nesting?"
Oct 28, 2017
Michael Johnston commented on Chris Anderson's blog post Eagles vs Drones (spoiler: Eagles win)
"Another challenge for the dev team....... eagle mode. It is possible that not all birds survive an encounter with an UAV - see Simon Cherriman's thoughts here. http://wedge-tailedeagletracking.blogspot.com.au/2017/05/death-by-drone.html"
Oct 1, 2017
Michael Johnston commented on alexis lussier desbiens's blog post Aquatic drone with passive VTOL
"Brilliant work. What capacity does the wing have for payload?  How scalable do you envisage the concept is for larger aircraft / larger payload (larger mass!!)? Environmental sensors etc (Also out of curiosity, what is the dark fin shown at…"
Jun 5, 2017
Michael Johnston replied to Gisela & Joe Noci's discussion FCC and EU ETSI compliance requirements for all Radio Modules
"(interested in learning more about your wildlife tracking modules)."
Nov 29, 2016
Michael Johnston commented on lianpinkoh's blog post Parrot Disco for whale and dolphin survey (and a teardown)
"@ JB - No doubt you'll provide further info about your work when ready.  As you say, it sounds very good for environmental sensing, specifically wildlife monitoring."
Nov 7, 2016
Michael Johnston commented on Patrick Meier's blog post TEDx Talk on Humanitarian Drones
"Bravo to you and your extended team!!"
Nov 2, 2016
Michael Johnston commented on Dirk Gorissen's blog post Where’s Susi? Airborne Orangutan Tracking in Borneo with Pixhawk & Dronekit
"Good to read your blog here Dirk. I've been working on a radio-tracking system for wildlife work too with SDR dongles - with significant support from others in the open source community (thanks to Al, Tom, Hansie and Guy).  There are two…"
Apr 20, 2016
Michael Johnston commented on Patrick Duffy's blog post Ford issues $100000 challenge for developers to create drone to vehicle communication system
"The 'challenge' has probably already been won. Consider these factors; - the number of F150 utes manufactured - the number of DJI controlled machines ever flown - the number of DJI controlled machines flown away (i.e. must surely count as…"
Jan 6, 2016
Michael Johnston commented on AKRCGUY's blog post DJI releases fully integrated FLIR camera/gimbal for Inspire & Matrice
"How is this equipment expected to be affected by ITAR export restrictions?"
Dec 11, 2015
Michael Johnston commented on lianpinkoh's blog post ArduBoat MK4
"allows the skipper to sit back and enjoy the ride. Good fun LPK -  have you got a project in mind for this application?"
Oct 22, 2015
Michael Johnston commented on lianpinkoh's blog post TrackerBots
"Some familiar faces contributing here!  Congratulations to LPK and also to your colleagues. I've been contributing to a project using similar technologies for some time too. Adoption of SDR techniques on a UAV seemed to be a sensible step…"
Sep 3, 2015
Michael Johnston commented on Daniel Wibbing's blog post DIY blimp crowdfunding
"what is the maximum safe payload (in ideal weather conditions)?"
Apr 2, 2015
Michael Johnston commented on Melih Karakelle's blog post DroneThermal Analog MAV Cameras, Almost Ready
".....when you have an opportunity .... would be interested to see how a dog, cat or other animals (including birds) appear.  Would need the altitude / distance from the animal as well.  thank-you."
Mar 18, 2015
Michael Johnston commented on Gisela & Joe Noci's blog post Laser Rangefinder assisted Landings on our SurVoyeur MK-II UAV system
"I suspect I've said this before....... brilliant work Joe and Gisella. When time permits, could you prepare a post describing some of the work that this machine undertakes.  Your posts raise the tone on DIYD demonstrating working UAVs as…"
Nov 25, 2014
Michael Johnston commented on Patrick Duffy's blog post Part 2: How to build a High-Definition FPV UAV using a Rasperry PI with HD camera, using a high speed WiFi link
"the rocket M5 fits nicely into the case that your Rpi came in."
Sep 29, 2014
Michael Johnston commented on Patrick Duffy's blog post How to build a High-Definition FPV UAV using a Rasperry PI with HD camera, using a high speed WiFi link
"regards opening the rocket.  Alternative method is to open the slide panel, lift the adhesive stickers and remove the screws.  the case then slides open."
Sep 29, 2014
Michael Johnston commented on Gisela & Joe Noci's blog post Etosha National Park, Namibia, adds more to its Anti-Poaching UAV Arsonal.
"African solutions for global problems (!!)"
Sep 12, 2014
Michael Johnston commented on Dan Murray's blog post Project Wing: Google Reveals It Has Been Working on Drones for Two Years
"many kangaroos end up as dog food."
Aug 28, 2014
Michael Johnston commented on Lester Haines's blog post Dedicated telemetry board for the Raspberry Pi
"Thank you."
Jul 6, 2014

Profile Information

About Me:
A biologist that can hover .....
Please tell us a bit about your UAV interest
.... and intending to use UAV to assist with management of wildlife populations.

My youtube channel is
Melbourne, Australia.

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Comment Wall (9 comments)

At 1:38am on February 4, 2012, Patric Millar said…

Hi Michael

Likewise goot to chat yesterday. Ha a good look at the Nampilot work.  really interesitng. I'm really keen to read the paper on VHF tracking.  Any chance you can steer me in the direction of a copy?

At 12:40pm on February 27, 2012, Serge Wich said…

Hi Michael,

Thank you for the lead to the Nampilot work. Very interesting. I hope that your server is back up and that you can read my email.



At 5:15am on February 18, 2013, Deon van der Merwe said…
Mike, I have looked at conservation drones; and I love it! Those guys have taken the bull by the horns. Still rough around the edges, but they seem to be making progress, and they are doing us all a great service by spreading the message that sUAS are useful.
At 12:09am on March 18, 2013, Mark Corcoran said…

Hi Michael,

 apologies for the delayed response, been a while since I was on the page.



At 4:54am on April 9, 2013, bcrow said…

 Michael - Thank you for the kind comment. I had no background in RC of any type. A good friend, and biologist, Chad Cyrus and I had talked many times in his Piper Super Cub about unmanned flights for research purposes. He and I would survey Sage Grouse leks, and prairie dog colonies. At 180 mph and only 200ft off the ground, we had discussed what if...and laughed. He crashed on a flight that I was suppose to be with him, but was not. I spent 14 months researching UAVs and wrote a grant to the MLB SuperBat, which we use...not a DIY. But we use a proven airframe, and DIY equipment and instruments for research applications.

Cheers, Byron

At 11:51pm on May 7, 2013, Gisela & Joe Noci said…

Hello again Michael...

long time no type..

Seems you guys are still at it and having fun. We are becoming more and more involved here in Namibia, with all sorts. Th MInistry has procured a SurVoyeur mk-II system from us, together with the one full mk-I system we donated to them. The mk-II is lighter, greater wingspan, is fitted with the FLIR TAU-2 infrared camera on a gimbal ( take a look at my blog here on the gimbal - it works very well).

Google has sponsored some $5M US to establish a security/antipoaching capability, in 4 countries, using technology, of which UAV's will form a part. Namibia ( ETOSHA) has been chosen as the first site, and WWF has visited us , with an Israeli UAV/Wildlife consultant, to asses our capability and system. We flew some demos for them and all were well impressed, so we are well in line to hopefully be chosen as the suppliers!

We are also becoming involved with the Desert Lions projects here - take a look at:

http://www.desertlion.info/news.html   Very impressive project!

The fellow doing all this tracks these creatures all over the place, trying to balance the animals life against the local population in the remote areas - often great conflict as the Lions may take there cattle, which gives the local the 'right' to shoot the poor creature. 

So we are developing a balloon tethered VHF tracker to help him determine if there are any tagged Lions in the nearby area, and then he can proceed to track with normal VHF. Also we hope to develop the balloon tracker further and locate one ate each small village, with a warning system; flashing lights, siren, etc, to warn the villagers that a lion is in the near vicinity - they can then be alert and send the chasers out...Also, if this works well, we want to try make a small 'portable, unit that the cattle herder can deloy out in the grasslands, when out feeding the cattle. When alarmed, he can at least try heard the cattle in...Anything to try help these Lions survive!

So a busy life here in sleepy Swakopmund!

Trust you are having at least at much fun!



The Nampilot.

At 12:40am on June 5, 2013, Gisela & Joe Noci said…

Hi Michael,

Re Map calibration-

We have used OziEx and also Fugawi - But our ground station is an integrated system, so we do the map calibration in the GCS software - we find some errors ( 10's of meters) in the more Southern and Northern hemispheres, and lo, we find the same using Fugawi, so either the planet is skewed or the Great A'tuin, or at least one elephant,has shrugged ( if you read Terry Pratchett..) and so trying to find some maths boffins to discuss with. DIYdrones site is so belaboured with quadcrap that any discussion you post zips of the main page is seconds, lost among all the APM connection problems, fly-aways, and incessant repeats of the same-old-same-old..Need a new site for those who have progressed a little past the dummy sucking phase - 

Pardon my early morning grumpiness..


The Nampilot

At 5:26am on August 5, 2013, Samuel Cowen said…

Thanks for the comment! It's very encouraging.

At 8:10pm on May 26, 2014, Eugene Potapov said…

Thanks, No, I do not know him. Eugene

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