New partnership with American drone manufacturer Freefly Systems

American drone manufacturer Freefly Systems and innovative sensor technology startup, Wildlife Drones, announce partnership

American drone manufacturer Freefly Systems have announced a partnership with Australian conservation tech start-up Wildlife Drones to launch the world’s most advanced radio-telemetry system incorporating US made drones.

Freefly Systems have over a decade of experience bringing innovative products to the professional cinematography industry. However, by partnering with Wildlife Drones to integrate their advanced radio-telemetry payload with the Astro, they are embracing perhaps their most unique payload innovation yet as well as contributing to the wildlife conservation industry.

Wildlife Drones’ radio-telemetry payload listens for radio signals from tagged wildlife which is very different to standard drone applications that rely on getting close and seeing animals through the camera lens,” says Dr Debbie Saunders, Founder and CEO.  “Our technology can not only hear these tiny tag signals from a distance, but can also locate and map the locations of many animals at the same time without needing to get close, which is a game changer for wildlife biologists across the United States.

Wildlife Drones Phil flying Astro Drone

Advancing US radio-telemetry capabilities

The unique combination of Wildlife Drones’ world-leading aerial telemetry technology, paired with the compact yet powerful Freefly Systems Astro, enables US government agencies, as well as environmental consultants and wildlife biologists across the country to scale up their wildlife telemetry operations.  These include monitoring and protecting endangered species, as well as managing and controlling invasive species.

Given Wildlife Drones’ sensitive radio-telemetry equipment is finely tuned to detect low power radio signals from distant animal tags, it is crucial that it is only mounted onto drones that don’t produce too much noise in the Very High Frequency (VHF) radio band. 

We have rigorously tested many different drones from around the world, but the Astro really stands out as one the quietest in it’s class while still having great flight times” explained Dr Saunders “Freefly have been fantastic to work with even though we are on opposites sides of the Pacific Ocean and have openly embraced the opportunity to test the feasibility and assist with integration our innovative technology, creating a very exciting and powerful partnership.

Wildlife Drones Astro in flight

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Partnership to strengthen conservation efforts in the US

Through this partnership, these two leading innovative technology companies will bring their collective resources and expertise to advance wildlife conservation across the United States, and around the world.

This is particularly timely given the passing of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act 2021, which provides a $1.3b of funding boost for conservation projects. This provides increased opportunities for wildlife biologists across the country to rapidly advance and scale up their radio-telemetry projects.  This includes tracking everything from invasive Burmese Pythons to Asian Giant Hornets for improving pest control, right through to protecting endangered species by tracking bats and box turtles.

The Partnership between Freefly Systems and Wildlife Drones will focus on: 

  • Providing turnkey drone solutions for wildlife and invasive species managers
  • Blue SUAS compliant drone solutions
  • Expert technical support and customer service from both organisations – the best of both worlds.

If you don’t have the data you need to understand and address the problems causing biodiversity loss, you can’t effectively manage the problem or create the change required on the ground,” says Dr Saunders. “Together with Freefly Systems, we are turning this around and making a positive difference to some of the world’s most endangered species.

About Wildlife Drones 

Wildlife Drones is an award-winning startup that provides innovative drone sensor technology to support land managers and wildlife biologists in the collection of meaningful data on threatened and invasive species and the ecosystems in which they exist, paving the way for more sustainable land management in the face of global change. 

About Freefly Systems

Freefly Systems is an American corporation that designs, manufactures, and markets camera movement systems and camera stabilizers used in cinematography including unmanned aerial vehicles for aerial cinematography, gimbals, and remote controlled vehicles. The company headquarters are in Woodinville, Washington