Drone noise

In the past 10 years, drone-based marine mammal research has grown immensely. Used in studies across the world, drones have become a popular research tool for scientists, especially due to their unobtrusive nature compared to other research methods. However, what do marine mammals (especially whales) hear when a drone flies above them?

In 2021, we carried out acoustic research experiments to assess exactly how loud drone noise is underwater. Using three of the most popular drones (DJI Inspire, Phantom and Mavic) we measured drone noise at different heights and distances above a SoundTrap (hydrophone).

Using the results from this study, we hope to inform future best practice four our own research, and other ocean scientists.