bruno voisin
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About Me:
Former engineer turned into nature conservationist in Botswana, Africa
Please tell us a bit about your UAV interest
build a UAV for annual game counting (giraffes, antelopes etc)
Cape Town

Comment Wall (2 comments)

At 8:37am on October 17, 2011,
Graham Dyer

Hi Bruno

I don't think game counting is practical from a UAV, I've tried from a fixed wing model but the camera/goggle resolution, stability, inability to look around, terrain, etc makes it very hard. A friend tried with a FLIR camera on a full size heli but they couldn't differentiate between a kudu or a waterbuck or sable.


I did have limited success photographing cape buffalo herds and counting them after on the photo, an old RCGroups thread documents some of it here:

but for general game it's not easy. The RCG thread lists more limitations.


The buffalo had to be out in an open area in winter, in summer 80+% of the herd was under tree cover when the sun was vertical and invisible to the plane's camera.


I think with a large budget one could develop a system to do it fairly well but by that time it would've been cheaper and less time consuming to hire a full size plane.


An Arducopter also has a very limited duration of maybe 12-15 minutes if your system is very efficient which limits a) how far you can fly (6 minutes away and 6 minutes back), b) how much area you can cover in that time.


At 11:44am on October 17, 2011, bruno voisin said…
Thank you Graham, your comments are very valuable indeed.
I understand the ArduCopter may just be a starting point for me and the ArduPlane may be more appropriate. I believe there are UAV solutions for game counts available overseas, although probably also a lot more expensive... but so are game counts using a helicopter on a reasonable size reserve.

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