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PIDSO Supporting Embry-Riddle in Drone Project for the Galapagos Islands

Logo Pidso
February 16, 2012

PIDSO's ultra light tracking antennas used to observe endangered animals in the Galapagos islands

In association with Ecuador’s Galapagos National Park, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, is developing a UAS system to observe and protect the rare and endangered animals of the Galapagos Islands. Small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities are now being developed and tested for this purpose, as a sophisticated communication system is also being devised. Currently, the Galapagos Islands are patrolled by manned, gas-powered aircraft that have difficulty covering the entire region effectively. Transitioning to unmanned vehicles presents a low cost and environmentally conscious scenario that can yield much better data. However, due to the Galapagos Islands’ wide area—133,000 square kilometers--light-weight, long range, and low power antenna solutions are required.

At the August 2011 AUVSI Trade Show, Embry Riddle contacted PIDSO , the Vienna-based antenna innovator with a subsidiary in Pasadena/California, to consider the best options for covering the Galapagos Islands against poaching. Particularly attractive for the set-up is PIDSO’s ultra-compact, ultra-light tracking antenna, which can transmit data and track the signal of UAS over long range. Discussions continued, with PIDSO advising on the system’s overall design and best usage of antennas. Meanwhile, through its distribution partnership with L-Com, PIDSO began to supply antennas and other equipment to Embry-Riddle for the first stages of the project.

PIDSO is very proud to participate in this worthy endeavor, both from the standpoint of the technical challenges and interest it poses, and as a way of helping protect and learn more about the marvelously strange animals that inspired Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species.

PIDSO CEO Christoph Kienmayer says, “We are very glad to be supporting such an important project that can show how UAV technology can be applied to the cause of environmentalism, and the preservation of unique wonders of the world like the Galapagos Islands.”

Embry-Riddle Project Leader Jorge Pantoja says, “I am very happy to have companies such as PIDSO helping us in this incredible engineering endeavor. It feels great to have partners that support the Galapagos UAV project with their technical expertise.

PIDSO Inc., based in Altadena, California, at the Business Technology Center, is the U.S. subsidiary of PIDSO GmbH in Vienna. The firm specializes in ultra-light and innovative antenna solutions for unmanned aerial vehicles and other aerospace applications. Along with Embry-Riddle, its main customers in Europe and the United States are BMW and Boeing. For more information, visit

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 40 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, Canada and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit