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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for use in marine monitoring - Marine Monitoring Platform Guidelines No. 3 2019

Marine JNCC Publications 2517-7605 Evidence Guidance Marine Marine Habitat Mapping Monitoring Surveillance and Monitoring


This procedural guideline is intended primarily for survey managers who are considering the use of UAVs to meet their survey objectives.


The term Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) can be used to describe a diverse range of aircraft that are piloted from the ground. The aim of this document is to detail UAVs that are used routinely for marine benthic monitoring, less than 20kg in mass, and termed Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA). In this context, they can be characterised as small, battery-powered aircraft, typically capable of flying for a short period of less than an hour under the control of a pilot within line of sight of the aircraft.

The UAV is a versatile platform that can be fitted with a wide range of sensors to capture data at known locations during survey flights. For example, fitting of imaging sensors (cameras) allows the system to acquire geo-referenced photographs and videos. These data can then be downloaded and processed by the end-user to create a range of outputs in order to meet survey objectives.

Resource type Publication

Topic category Environment

Reference date 2019·06·20

Crabb, M., Wright, P., Humphrey, O., Johnson, G., Rush, S., van Rein, H. & Hinchen, H., (2019), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for use in marine monitoring - Marine Monitoring Platform Guidelines No. 3, JNCC, Peterborough, ISSN 2517-7605.

The Marine Monitoring Platform Guidelines form part of JNCC’s commitment to providing expert advice in the field of marine biological monitoring methods and applications.

Responsible organisation
Digital and Data Solutions, JNCC publisher

Limitations on public access None

Use constraints None

Metadata date 2019·06·28

Metadata point of contact
Digital and Data Solutions, JNCC

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