Bathawk recon is a Tanzania registered UAV anti poaching surveillance company under Tanzania private sector foundation TPSF and its private sector anti poaching initiative PSAPI proposing to fly UAVs over parks, reserves and other protected areas.
Bathawk recon has carried out a couple of trials in different parks and game reserves in Tanzania including in Tarangire using a French-made battery operated drone called the DT 18, in Selous game reserve with the DT 26 also French battery operated drone and in Mkomazi national park with an American-made drone, the Super Bat DA 50, that is gas operated. The air crafts were care fully tested starting with sound, altitude, speed, stealth, and the most crucial aspect which is detection.
The Super Bat DA 50 is a wing fixed drone made by Martin UAVs based in Texas, which passed the trial with flying colors proved its ability to carry out this mission. With its 50 cc gas operated engine it can fly 8 to 10 hour sorties, 15,000 feet operational ceiling, a speed range of 40 – 70 kts, onboard electrical generator, and a sophisticated pay load with an electrical stabilized gimbal TASE 150 / 200 EO & IR nose camera which delivers real time surveillance feed to the ground station. It also has 20 MP wing fitted digital cameras for aerial mapping, launched on a motorized catapult and autonomous landing ability making the Super Bat DA 50 the right tool for this job, considering Africa’s vast and harsh environment.
Last week in Tanzania, an English helicopter pilot was shot down and killed by poachers that were caught in the act. Three large elephants, lay dead on the ground, caused him to investigate by flying low for better reconnaissance.
The ideal and safe method is using drones to fly over to investigate. If they uncover suspicious areas, the on-ground rangers can race to the scene, armed and trained to catch these poachers without putting human life at risk.
TANAPA and TPSF have exchanged letters of intent giving a green light to Bathawk and this cutting edge technology to go operational this year leading the way to an African solution to this world wide war against poaching.