The Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program (CSSP) tests water samples for the presence of bacteria to ensure shellfish are safe for human consumption. Current water sampling methods are logistically challenging, expensive, and typically require repeated vessel-based sampling.

The Centre for Marine Applied Research and Spiri Robotics are developing an aerial drone as an innovative approach to collect water samples for the CSSP. This aerial drone platform has the potential to sample more efficiently and safely compared to vessel-based sampling. This methodology will be assessed by industry partners and regulators to determine ‘real-world’ functionality. Drone water sampling is currently being evaluated by the Government of Canada but requires additional testing to validate the method. Video of the autonomous test flight can be viewed below.