C-COM Satellite Systems, a provider of mobile, auto-deploying satellite antenna systems, says its iNetVu antennas are being used with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to monitor and prevent animal poaching.
Saab Grintek, a C-COM iNetVu integrator based in South Africa, is sponsoring a foundation that is working closely with the three governments where the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park is situated: over 35,000 square kilometers in Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The foundation has been testing UAVs equipped with regular and infrared cameras, as well as thermal sensors for sensing people and vehicles during the night. Using the C-COM iNetVu vehicle-mounted antenna, the aircraft stays in contact with the operational center, which can immediately respond to any disturbance or potential breach.
According to C-COM, the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park contains 40% of the world's rhino population and has recently become the frontline of rhino-poaching wars, especially on the borders of Mozambique and South Africa. A rhino is killed every eight hours, C-COM says, as its horns have become more valuable than gold. The antenna-equipped UAVs provide park rangers with the ability to monitor activities in real time – day and night – and intervene as required, as well as record evidence to eventually prosecute the poachers.
‘This innovative solution of using UAVs in conjunction with the C-COM iNetVu antennas for monitoring and control of large areas or difficult to access locations from the air will open up many new applications,” comments Leslie Klein, president and CEO of C-COM. “We expect to see a number of our integrators from around the world apply this technology to their existing vertical markets, such as emergency communications and disaster management.’