As part of the Cook Islands expedition, the CSU Channel Islands Aerial and Aquatic Robot Research Team (AARR) will be performing a number of different studies. I lead the team which is comprised of many multi-disciplinary students, under Dr. Sean Anderson. I am excited to visit the islands to help the country explore and conserve their natural resources from above and below the water!
The AARR team uses underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to perform Environmental Science and Resource Management related research. The projects that are slated for the Cook Islands include: coral reef surveys, detection of fluorescent proteins in corals (in collaboration with Guy Trimby of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the UK), and mapping of coast lines and agriculture.
Preparing for this trip is a large undertaking, and beyond personally preparing for the trip, the team members are furiously working to ready our Remotely Piloted Systems. Our specialized equipment has seen heavy use and is in the process of being upgraded and repaired. The progress can be followed along at http://aarr.piratelab.org and https://openexplorer.com/expedition/cookislandscoastalresearchands