Drones and Drifters – The Great Pumpkin Race

This project tested and developed a new low-cost approach to collecting oceanographic measurements for use in tidal initial site assessments. The plan combines one of the oldest tools in oceanography, the drifter, with one of the newest, the drone. The drone was used to collect geo-referenced images to map significant flow features. Field trials were conducted using ‘biodegradable’ drifters (pumpkins and other gourds) to measure the flow field, and complemented with other GPS drifter data. Hydrodynamic analysis was also performed on the combined drone and drifter datasets to increase knowledge of the spatial and temporal variation of flow fields, and lead to developing a beta version of the software.


Principal Investigators:  Greg Trowse, Luna Ocean Consulting Ltd.

October 2016 – July 2017