Unmanned systems have been taken to sea for nature broadcaster David Attenborough’s latest documentary series, Blue Planet 2.
The season, which returns to the unexplored areas of the sea, is pegged as being one of the presenter’s most ambitious projects.
Picking up from part one, which was filmed in 2001, the production crew were able to harness new technology, including unmanned systems, to achieve previously impossible footage.
The production team was able to get footage of some previously unknown hunting behaviour by sea lions on the Galapagos Islands whilst using UHD Drones. For previous series the crew were only able to use helicopters to get close to the wildlife.
Speaking to the BBC, the show’s executive producer, James Honeyborne, said: “The original series would have shot aerials on 16mm film, from helicopters. Now we have ultra HD drones that can be deployed anywhere they’re permitted – and they have revolutionised the way we can immediately witness oceanic events from above, adding detail and insight events like the ‘cyclone’ feeding strategy of manta rays over the coral reef.
“And submersibles carrying ultra HD and extreme low-light cameras have opened up the world of the deep ocean like never before, recording previously unseen events such as hunting packs of Humboldt squid, at 800m deep.”