The aircraft will be made of advanced composite materials and will include highly efficient hybrid propulsion engines. Flying at a high altitude, the aircraft will send digital imagery to park rangers so that they can detect poacher groups and intercept them before they kill a rhino.
TeamAREND (Aircraft for Rhino and Environmental Defence) is composed of 20 students from the University of Pretoria; Colorado University, USA; University of Stuttgart, Germany; and Metropolia University, Finland. Using the specialty knowledge at each university, the aircraft will be developed collaboratively and flown during the Wildlife Conservation Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Challenge in South Africa later this year.
The Wildlife Conservation UAV Challenge is a competition that aims to foster innovation and invention as regards the design, manufacture and utilisation of unmanned aircraft with a view to countering the poaching of endangered species.
For more information follow teamAREND on Facebook and on twitter @teamAREND.