Mapping a West Indies island paradise
SILHOUETTE ISLAND, part of the Seychelles in the western Indian Ocean, has an amazing biodiversity and is home to several critically endangered plants and animals. To keep track of the different species on the island and gain insights into its unique ecosystem, an up-to-date map is an essential tool. This was not possible for half a century, however, due to its remote location and rough environment, with mountaintops reaching 2,400 feet. Enter the Atmos UAV hybrid mapping drone Marlyn, which has enabled cartography professional TFC International to map this tropical island paradise.
Marlyn is an industrial-grade photogrammetry drone that makes surveying easy, efficient, and straightforward. It can withstand winds of up to 35mph during takeoff, landing, and cruising flight, and it can map 4.6 square miles in a single flight. It’s powered vertically by four electric motors, then transitions to forward flight, during which two motors are turned off. It uses a dual-battery system developed by Atmos UAV so that one battery functions as a fail-safe for the other.
The Island Conservation Society manages preservation efforts at Silhouette Island, and Conservation officer François Baguette explains that, before this project, “the outdated and inaccurate map was our only means of planning and guiding expeditions. During our trips, we might encounter cliffs or impenetrable areas that were not shown on the current map, forcing us to abort the mission prematurely.” He adds, “The high-resolution photographs and maps made by Marlyn will help us better understand this area and will enable us to better plan our expeditions, saving us a lot of time and valuable manpower.”
Sander Hulsman, CEO of Atmos UAV, says, “With this project, we are seamlessly pursuing the vision of our company: empowering professionals across industries to effortlessly gather geospatial data from the sky, enabling them to make more informed decisions, more efficiently and effectively.”
Atmos UAV is a company in the Netherlands that specializes in the design and production of high-end aerial surveying and data-collection systems.
The terrain found on Silhouette Island is rugged and pristine. Several images taken by Marlyn were combined into one orthographic image. An elevation model was derived from data gathered by Marlyn during a mapping mission on Silhouette Island. This image shows the elevation model is laid over a regular orthophoto.
Marlyn takes off at Silhouette Island to start a mapping mission.