The USDA Wildlife Services (WS) has partnered with Parallel Flight Technologies in order to develop and demonstrate a drone-based aerial delivery platform to eradicate invasive rodents from Wake Island Airfield and the entirety of Wake Island Atoll.
This Cooperative Agreement aims to integrate Parallel Flight’s autonomous heavy-lift UAS with a spreader to carry a total payload capacity of approximately 100 pounds and autonomously fly pre-programmed flight paths while accurately delivering rodenticide bait at prescribed application rates.
Similar to prescribed burn and precision agriculture application operations using helicopters, aerial wildlife damage management operations often require slow and low level flights over difficult terrain which can be costly and dangerous. USDA WS hopes to develop an autonomous solution to replace traditional aircraft where possible. The organization believes Parallel Flight’s aircraft offers a unique combination of lift, endurance, and portability, making the UAS an ideal fit for the Wake Island Rodent Eradication pilot project.
Parallel Flight has developed patented parallel hybrid drone technology that enables its aircraft to fly and hover exponentially longer than existing electric systems with a heavy payload. The company’s transformative UAS technology can be applied across multiple logistics verticals, including real-time and complex healthcare logistics, tactical support for firefighters and first responders, military applications, and industrial logistics.
“We are excited to collaborate with USDA and other partners on this important project,” said Parallel Flight CEO/CTO, Joshua Resnick. “Our goal is to improve the safety, cost, and effectiveness of current operations and to promote island conservation efforts, globally. While Wake Atoll is the testing ground for our heavy lift platform, this application has significant growth potential for other animal baiting, wildlife damage and disease management operations.”