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Project Details

Drones Against Tsetse

Controlling the tsetse fly population with drone systems

By Embention

Project URL: https://www.embention.com/en/projects/drones-against-tsetse/
Project Twitter: @embention

Organisations Involved Embention (@embention)
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)
International Atomic Energy Agency
the Ethiopian Ministry of Livestock

  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Health
  • Physical Computing

The Drones Against Tsetse project is an initiative to control trypanosomiasis in Africa, starting on Ethiopian agrarian regions. Trypanosomiasis, commonly known as sleeping sickness, is transmitted by tsetse flies, causing large-scale damage and loss of both humans and animals.

The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) releases sterile male insects in zones in which the flies' indigenous population level must be controlled. Once freed, these insects get mixed with overgrown populations. The sterile insects copulate with non-sterile ones, providing no offspring and, consequently, reducing the population. In order to be effective, SIT requires the liberation of 100 sterile males per square kilometre, applied weekly.

Embention has developed a fully autonomous drone system capable of applying the SIT technique with tsetse flies. This has been achieved by using a long endurance fixed-wing aircraft controlled with Veronte Autopilot.

Last updated: 31st of August, 2016

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