Eagle-Eye Drone Service has achieved success in identifying submerged cultural artefacts underwater using mapping software. This is huge for the SAR industry to help minimise time in man-hours spent looking for a submerged body and documenting shallow water accident crime scenes.
One of the co-owners of Eagle Eye Drone Service is a member of the Northern Michigan Mutual Aid Dive Team, a team of law enforcements divers representing northern Michigan counties. When a search for a drowned victim is activated, extensive working hours and increased risk are assumed during any of these events; some take days before they may be located.
“We operated at 150 ft AGL and conducted a test over open water, mapping an area we knew had fallen logs, submerged boat and other items of interest. With a side lap of 80% and front lap of 75%, flying in ‘Slow’ mode, we were able to gain great insight not only in visual recognition of submerged object but the Digital Surface Modeling was very successful – underwater! This was unexpected. The depth of water was 2-8 feet. As you can see by the images, not only can you determine sizes of logs, but it would be very easy to identify the shape of a body, especially under magnification. An additional benefit for Michigan since their Underwater logging policy often refers to locating processed logs (cut on both sides) in shallow water with a fair amount of accuracy. Measurements could be made off-site for added expedience. Whether its a logging business or investigating stolen underwater logs by the Department of Natural Resources.
With thousands of miles of shoreline in northern Michigan, being able to search and identify 1/2 mile of shoreline by divers from a boat would take hours or days, where the drone could be more effective and do it in less than 15 minutes. This type of technology won’t replace scuba divers, it will make them more proficient in their tasks with minimal risk. Documenting an accident scene almost becomes second nature with this new technology.
“The effectiveness in depth of water is the next test, once ice breaks before sediment is disturbed. We should be able to identify objects (if the sun is positioned just right) to a depth of 50+ feet. We’re lucky and have very clean, clear water in our area.” Co-owner and pilot, Greg MacMaster
An underwater survey of the ship found in this picture was also conducted several years ago with five people and numerous visits to the archaeological site. More information on that research can be found here: http://www.nasnmc.com/images/
More information on performance of mapping project and higher resolution images from QC report can be found on their main page: www.eagleeyedroneservice.com
Eagle-Eye Drone Service is a full-service media production company that provides imagery of every kind from every height, both indoors and outdoors that produces the final product. Offices located in Kewadin, Jackson & St. Joseph, Michigan, Texas, Florida & Louisiana.