Reef Eye aims to assist researchers and marine scientists in collecting spatial and chemical data to help in their understanding of temporal change of coral habitats.
The use of a hyperspectral imaging sensor from an aerial platform will be used to map the reef in much higher detail than satellite sensing and high altitude flights, and providing a substantially cheaper service compared with low altitude flights that gather marginally more detailed data.
Reef Eye is a robust autonomous marine vessel that floats on the surface of the water and releases a tethered balloon 100m high in the air with a hyperspectral sensor to map the environment below.
The data gathered from the vessel is visible in real time with the use of satellites, enabling the user to see what is happening remotely.
The vessel is aimed at current and future research projects among the scientific community addressing the issue of bleaching, an unfortunate event that’s seen the destruction of 27% of reefs worldwide, with 60% predicted to be gone in the next 30 years.