Dutch UAV First to Map Remote Tropical Island in 50 Years - 01/02/2018


The hybrid mapping UAV Marlyn, designed by ATMOS UAV, has enabled cartography professional TFC International to map the tropical island paradise of Silhouette Island, situated in the Indian Ocean. This marked the kick-off for a project to map the entire Silhouette national park in great detail. The flights proved that Marlyn is capable of mapping under extreme conditions.

The interior region of Silhouette is a national park, with some of the richest biodiversity in the entire Indian Ocean. It is also home to several, critically endangered, plants and animals. In order to keep track of the different species on the island and gain insights into the unique ecosystem, an up-to-date map is an essential tool. However, this was not possible for half a century due to its rough environment with mountaintops up to 740m and its remote location.

As of today, the outdated and inaccurate map is the only means of planning and guiding expeditions. During trips on the island, one can encounter cliffs or impenetrable areas that are not shown on the current map, forcing to abort the mission prematurely, conservation officer at the Island Conservation Society, François Baguette explained. The high-resolution photographs and maps made by Marlyn will help them to better understand this area and will enable them to better plan expeditions, saving a lot of time and valuable manpower, he added.

Challenging mapping circumstances

With this project, ATMOS UAV is pursuing the vision of the company: empowering professionals across industries to effortlessly gather geospatial data from the sky, enabling them to make more informed decisions, more efficiently and effectively, mentioned Sander Hulsman, CEO of ATMOS UAV. The ability of the Marlyn UAV to withstand winds up to 6Bft during all phases of the flight from take-off to cruise and landing makes it a unique professional mapping tool that proved to be essential for this project. Hulsman added his company is very proud that TFC International selected their flagship model Marlyn for this beautiful and challenging project.

The combination of having only a handful of small take-off points in combination with the mountains, ever-present wind and heat makes mapping the Silhouette island a big challenge. Conventional UAVs that fly like helicopters lack the endurance and fixed-wing drones need a large empty space to take-off and land which is not available. Jean-François Rossignol, director of TFC International, said when they found out about Marlyn’s ability to take-off and land vertically under windy conditions combined with a high flight autonomy, they knew this was exactly the drone they needed for this wonderful project.

Mapping Silhouette National Park from ATMOS UAV on Vimeo.

Last updated: 15/08/2018