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Offshore surveys

HiDef’s bespoke high-resolution digital video system is specifically designed to detect birds, marine megafauna and anthropogenic activity offshore and has been used extensively in support of the offshore wind and conservation industries. The system uses four high-resolution video cameras, recording at a frame rate of over eight images per second, across a transect of 500m width. All surveys are conducted at 550m altitude, which ensures that our aircraft do not flush sensitive species and gives and accurate account of the marine animals using an area. Compared to other methods, our digital aerial surveys provide a counting method with improved objectivity and reduced risk.

HiDef’s GEN II rig allows us to conduct surveys with a ground sample distance (GSD – the size of each pixel) between 3cm to 0.5cm, with the 0.5cm capability providing unrivalled image quality. We choose to conduct the majority of our offshore surveys at a resolution of 2cm GSD, which allows us to achieve an identification rate in excess of 90% to species level. Our expert identification team includes some of the most experienced ornithologists in the UK, which gives our clients the confidence that we are recording and identifying everything that is using their site.

Our data is subject to a highly robust and externally audited quality assurance process, which ensures a high level of data quality. Our data are then backed-up and stored in separate locations, providing our clients with the ability to re-review the data years after the survey was initially conducted, if they require.