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Whale watchers: Novel uses for unmanned aircraft

Date and Time:

RSVP on Zoom ( or watch live on the UAF or Geophysical Institute Facebook pages.

ACUASI Director Cathy Cahill.
Cathy Cahill and Andrew Wentworth
The Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI)

The North Atlantic right whale is a critically endangered species with only some 400 individuals left in the wild. A dwindling food supply has forced these whales further north, where collisions with cargo vessels in busy shipping lanes has been a major cause of mortality. In this talk, members of the ACUASI team will discuss how unmanned aircraft normally deployed for geophysical studies are being used to monitor whales in the North Atlantic and how that information is used to protect their populations. Three seasons of this mission has taught many lessons and helped to mature the state of unmanned aviation in North America.  Plans are underway for a fourth season of flying to “save the whales.” 


  • Cathy Cahill, director of ACUASI
  • Andrew Wentworth, SeaHunter project manager