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Dalhousie University is a public research university in Nova Scotia, Canada, with three campuses in Halifax, a fourth in Bible Hill, and medical teaching facilities in Saint John, New Brunswick.

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Drones and Drifters: The Great Pumpkin Race

The project objective was to test and develop a new low-cost approach to collecting oceanographic measurements for use in tidal initial site assessments. The plan was to combine one of the oldest tools in oceanography, the drifter, with one of the newest, the drone – also known as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or UAV. The drone was used to collect geo-referenced images to map significant flow features. Field trials were conducted using ‘biodegradable’ drifters (ie. pumpkins and other gourds!) to measure the flow field, and complemented with other GPS drifter data. The proponent performed hydrodynamic analysis on the combined drone and drifter datasets to increase knowledge of the spatial and temporal variation of flow fields, and lead to developing a beta version of the software.

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Greg Trowse (Luna Ocean Consulting Ltd.), Dr. Thomas Roc, Dr. Richard Karsten, and Jeremy Locke (Acadia Tidal Energy Institute), Dr. Alex Hay and Richard Cheel (Dalhousie University)
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