UCF researcher works with non-profit to develop python hunting camera

Researchers from the University of Central Florida are working with a Kissimmee-based non-profit to develop a new kind of camera that could be used to hunt pythons in the Everglades.

Hyperspectral imaging cameras captures wavelengths of light that can not be seen with the naked eye.

Professor Ronald Driggers with UCF's College of Optics and Photonics explained to News 96.5 WDBO how the technology works.

“Hyperspectral is a camera that slices wavelengths up into many bands, like hundreds or thousands of bands,” said Driggers.

“We see in the region of 400 nanometers to 700 nanometers.  The hyperspectral that we used on the pythons sees from 400 nanometers all the way out to 1,100 nanometers,” said Driggers.

Driggers says the camera sees beyond a python’s natural camouflage making the snakes more easy to locate.

The camera can scan an area and immediately pick up a python slithering in the Everglades because of the contrast of light reflected by the snake versus light being reflected by the grass, leaves, and brush.

For now, the cameras are being mounted on platforms on vehicles.  Driggers says his team has applied for state funding to mount the cameras on drones so they can cover more area.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is planning a major announcement about the cameras next month.

Driggers says they cameras could be widely used in Florida’s python hunt next year.

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