NOAA has a new eye in the sky over the islands.
Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are using unmanned aircraft to improve research in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
The Puma is a small thirteen pound aircraft that is launched from the Hi’ialakai research ship. It’s quipped with video and infrared cameras that are mounted on a 360 degree gimbal. It flies ahead of the team and takes pictures and video of everything from monk seals to marine debris.
Todd Jacobs is the Puma project manager.