Dr Brett Kettle has pioneered coral reef protection for over three decades, both on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and internationally, leading advances in oil spill management, coastal development guidelines, ship grounding prosecutions and seagrass management during dredging. He has provided Expert investigations and testimony to Federal agencies in several cases, including the world’s largest settlement for ship damage in a coral reef area, and has conducted the largest ever reef remediation project in the GBR. He currently Chairs the Independent Technical Advisory Committee for Townsville Port dredging.
In December 2017, in the wake of ongoing Crown of Thorns Starfish (CoTS) outbreaks, Brett began to prototype his long-term vision for a high-speed, broad-scale underwater visual survey tool. His vision was to document more of the Great Barrier Reef than had ever been documented before and to use emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence to accelerate the analysis of collected data. The early kitchen table prototyping rapidly developed into a functional prototype field tested throughout 2017/18.
Brett continued to innovate the hardware through to 2022, ruggedizing the design, improving flight control, extending the V3s operational depth capacity to 100m, and developing high-speed, high quality local manufacturing capability. Every hour each glider can survey 10ha (25acres), and record over 50k high-resolution images, each with a range of associated geospatial and environmental data depending on the mission parameters.
At the same time Brett developed a range of analysis tools including machine learning models to identify biodiversity live in the field, data cataloguing, and a pipeline for rapid generation of photorealistic, geospatially accurate digital twins for three-dimensional ecosystem analysis by anyone, without them ever needing to get wet.
Flying Fish Technologies now has a fleet of Vertigo3 gliders ready for rapid deployment anywhere in the world. Our survey teams are able to transport the gliders internationally within standard carry-on luggage limitations and can safely conduct missions from a range of small to medium sized vessels in a variety of weather conditions.
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