Dronar—Geoforensic Search Sonar from a Drone

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Abstract

Lightweight sonar devices may be tethered to an unmanned aerial vehicle or drone and quickly deployed over water for real-time imaging in 2D and the on site creation of geolocated, interactive bathymetric maps without the need for a boat. We show how such data is useful in the preliminary stages of water searches, by providing geophysicists, hydrologists and divers with spatial depth information, the distribution of dive and equipment hazards such as entanglement objects (weed, discarded items) and sediment types. One bathymetry case study location is described in detail, with a further two summarized to demonstrate reconnaissance surveys. Limitations of drone-based sonar surveys are outlined, including dense water weed cover; limits on flight times and adverse weather conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-212
Number of pages11
JournalForensic Sciences
Volume1
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Geoforensics
  • UAV
  • bathymetry
  • sonar
  • water-based search

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