The success of the Bathawk Recon anti poaching surveillance plan depends on a marriage between technology and operational appropriateness. Working out how these fit cannot be done in theory it needs to be done in practice: in the field. Bathawk Recon has carried out three trials to be able to finally conclude it had a viable Tech / Op match up.
TARANGIRE National Park – In September 2014 Bathawk brought the Delair Tech DT-18 to the Tarangire National Park in Northern Tanzania. The DT-18 performed well and the team came back with an absolute commitment to UAV anti poaching. Night time surveillance of buffalo was particularly convincing. However the DT-18 used a fixed gimbal and despite its good performance it was decided an aircraft with more range endurance and gimbal capability would be needed to satisfy the Big Ground Concept’s needs.
SELOUS Game Reserve – In April 2015, Bathawk Recon went to the bush with another Delair Tech product – the DT-26. This trial was carried out in the Selous: one of the most rigorous protected landscapes in Africa. The weather, vegetation and ground conditions hindered this trial from giving the DT-26 a good opportunity. Bahawk determined it was the right size and endurance for the job and its flight went a long way to showing the viability of the plan. However some of the DT-26’s key capabilities were still in development and too much time would be required to bring them up to requirement.
MKOMAZI National Park – in September 2015 it was the turn of the Super Bat DA-50 at Mkomazi, on the border of Kenya Tsavo reserve in North Eastern Tanzania. This was an impressive occasion with TANANA’s Director of Conservation. At this trial all the pieces came together. The endurance, the range, the robustness, but most importantly the surveillance. The ability to detect a human while, the field of view is wide, is a key criteria. The TASE200 performed beyond expectation.