Mallows Bay

At the end of World War I, the U.S. Navy had excess logistics ships and the decision was made to scuttle over 100 of the ships, averaging 280 feet in length, and push them into a small area on the east side of the Potomac River called Mallows Bay. Ecological disaster, right!? Well, in this case Mother Nature is winning and Mallows Bay has become an extraordinary historical landmark and diverse ecosystem; so much so that NOAA is in the process of making the area into a national marine sanctuary. NOAA needed a high-resolution survey of the area and the site manager asked us to use our fixed wing and multi-copter drones to conduct an aerial survey of the ships. We conducted the flights on Sep 20, 2016 on a calm, overcast, cool day. Imagine if you will, as the tide lowers, the hulks of dozens of large ghost ships rising to the surface to be surveyed in fine scale.

Benzonia orthomosaic image of a few ships in Mallows Bay. (Photo Credit: Duke MaRRS Lab)

RGB transparent orthomosaic from Mallows Bay. (Photo Credit: Duke MaRRS Lab)

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