Two Martin UAV systems tested for African anti-poaching project

By Patrick C. Miller | October 29, 2015

Martin UAV LLC and Aviation Unmanned LLC of Addison, Texas, deployed two fixed-wing DA-50 Super Bat unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in support of an anti-poaching effort in Tanzania along the east coast of Africa.

Bathawk Recon was created to deliver UAS-based anti-poaching services to Tanzanian governmental and non-governmental agencies. Development in Africa and growing populations are increasing the threat from poachers to rhinos and elephants. BatHawk Recon’s goal is to bring a high level of international expertise and technology to bear on the poaching problem

During a five-day period in September, Bathawk Recon Limited—a Tanzanian UAS anti-poaching surveillance company—hosted the trials through the Tanzanian National Park Authority (TANAPA).

The Super Bat underwent a field trial evaluation designed to determine if the gas-powered, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) could meet BatHawk’s concept requirements. According to UAV Martin, the Super Bat accomplished all the objectives set for it.

The combined team of Martin UAV, Aviation Unmanned, BatHawk Recon and TANAPA ran the Super Bat through a series of exercises to test the effectiveness of its sensors, its range, endurance and ability to operate in support of park rangers. 

While flying at maximum altitude, the Super Bat flew in cooperation with civil aviation while detecting and following people through the bush, as well as zooming in on game with standard and infrared video. The Super Bat flew a distance of 18 miles and spent eight hours in the air.

Anti-poaching surveillance projects using UAS technology are being developed in a number of African countries such as South Africa, Namibia and Kenya. UAV Martin said controversy remains on their effectiveness. However, BatHawk believes UAV surveillance will prove the most cost-effective and widely used anti-poaching system.

Martin UAV said the testing represented a landmark achievement for the company and was “a testament to robust, experienced engineering and groundbreaking technological advances in the medium UAV market.”

Martin UAV is a private company manufacturing UAS.  Aviation Unmanned is a private company providing UAS services and training.


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