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And so the vehicle's able to triangulate its position, and know exactly in three-dimensional space where the shark is." This is how the ocean has long been explored, actually.
"Back in the day UAVs were usually used for monotonous tasks: mow the lawn, find a needle in a haystack like a lost plane," Kukulya says.
"Everyone else is just hoping for the best, like, 'Okay I hope Shark Cam gets some good footage.' And we're throwing this really expensive vehicle in the water and trying to learn things on the fly, and make it better on the fly." The vehicle was attacked their first trip out, as they tracked a different shark that had been tagged with a transponder.
This happened over and over in Guadalupe, which has made Kukulya "think a little bit differently" about her next expedition.
"It becomes a more complicated math problem, essentially," she says.
The REMUS (which stands for Remote Environmental Monitoring Units) Shark Cam weighs about 100 pounds, and has a range of 45 nautical miles.
' Obviously there's a different culture and a different diet and a different hunting technique." She's also more confident than ever in the vehicle's ability to track fast and randomly moving animals in the water, though she knows she won't always be as lucky as she was in Guadalupe.
She's working on improving the battery life of the vehicle and its cameras, which currently work for three hours.
"We had no interest in losing this vehicle the second time we put it in the water." The expedition resulted in incredible footage for the Discovery Channel, which will air on Monday night as part of the show "Jaws Strikes Back." For Kukulya, though, it's more exciting for the questions it raised.
"That opens up a whole suite of other questions for scientists and everything else to say well, 'What's the difference?