Drones that resemble hawks could be put into action soon to stalk mosquitoes.
The plan is to try to have the unmanned drones tail mosquitoes to the shallow-water pools where mosquitoes breed, after which local officials could quickly come in and kill the mosquitoes.
Several government agencies are gathering in the Florida Keys for a test flight scheduled for 10 a.m. on August 26, according to KeysNet.com.
The hawk drone is 2.2 pounds and about 2.5 feet long.
“It’s very much designed for law enforcement when you watch the video, but it has a short-wave infrared camera we may be able to use to detect shallow water. It may or may not; that’s what we have to find out,” District Director Michael Doyle said.
The drones are equipped with infrared cameras and cost about $80,000 each.
Several other methods are in the running to help kill mosquitoes, including water sensors and cameras on offshore islands.
“If we can find the water, we can kill the mosquitoes. The real challenge is finding the water quickly enough,” Doyle said.
The hawk drones can fly up to 150 feet and can fly for as long as 90 minutes at a time, according to Condor Aerial’s website.
The camera’s daytime optics can zoom 36X optically and up to 360X digitally, enabling the drones to read a license plate over half-a-mile away.