SharkWatch is a project to keep South Africa’s beaches safe from shark attacks and drownings with the use of specialised Unmanned Aerial System kits.

These small light weight aircraft can patrol our beaches autonomously sending back a live video feed from the aircraft to the user. This will allow beach patrol and life guards to act quickly to any situation.

Each kit consists of:

M.A Hawk – The Hawk is a lightweight UAS, designed for mid to long range flights for surveillance and reconnaissance. The Hawk can be operated manually or programmed for full autonomous flight, utilizing its advanced avionics and accurate GPS navigation. With a wingspan of 1.7m and a weight of 3kg, the hand-launched Hawk provides aerial observation with ranges of 20km or more and endurance of up to 90mins. The high quality camera on board the Hawk provides real time video feedback to the GCS (Ground Control Station).

M.A 400 – The 400 is a Multi-Rotor UAS, designed for rapid deployment and short to mid-range flights. It is built for agility and speed, and can be carried in a back pack to track down any poacher or rhino in a matter of seconds. As with the Hawk, the 400 can be manually operated or programmed using the same advanced avionics and GPS as the Hawk.

M.A GSC – The GSC, or Ground Control Station, is your link to the aerial systems. It contains two HD LCD screens for mission planning and a live video feedback, battery charging station, and spares for the systems all in a tough pelican case. The GCS is light weight and portable and can run off the 12 volt battery inside the GCS or from mains.

Not only will this project save lives, but is also very cost effective.

21 Comments to "Shark Watch"

  • Mzwandile Shongwe says:

    August 2, 2013 at 8:38 am - Reply

    This could also be used on game farms to stop poaching

    1. Monrick Curry says:

      August 7, 2013 at 4:16 pm - Reply

      I think Mr. Shongwe is right it will be great for watching over poachers,maybe the rangers can wear a special chip and if the plane spots people and it doesn’t signal that it is rangers it can signal back to control or to the rangers there a possibility of poachers,even chip the rhinos like the s.p.c.a does with the animals

  • Marcel Norman says:

    August 2, 2013 at 9:14 am - Reply

    Hi Mzwandile

    I’m trying to get that off the ground



  • Frans De Villiers says:

    August 8, 2013 at 11:38 am - Reply

    I call bullshit. The votes here are being driven by fake accounts that vote non-stop. The terms state that you can’t vote for yourself, that should include fake profiles.

    1. Marcel Norman says:

      August 8, 2013 at 6:10 pm - Reply

      Hi Frans

      I’m sorry you feel that way, but I can assure you that they are not fake accounts. These people are just very excited and determined to see this project becoming a huge success.

      I wish you the best of luck with your project.

      Marcel Norman

  • lawrencepn says:

    August 8, 2013 at 11:42 am - Reply

    it will be great as a man toy too :-) I support the idea, the usage is certainly not only limited to shark spotting, they can be used in various industries and in emergency situations.

    1. Marcel Norman says:

      August 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm - Reply

      Hi Lawrence

      Thanks for your support!

      The possibilities are endless, that is why I’m so eager to win this and make a huge success of it!

    1. FNB says:

      August 13, 2013 at 1:37 pm - Reply

      Hi Raven

      If you feel that this idea is not unique and new, please report it by clicking on the “Report this Idea” button next to the idea image. Our panel will look at it and the entry will be disqualified with immediate effect.

  • Raven Wilson says:

    August 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    What makes your design better than all the others because believe it or not theres many others who have already made their idea possible
    so what makes yours unique….

    1. Marcel Norman says:

      August 13, 2013 at 3:09 pm - Reply

      Hi Raven

      The link you posted is about rhino poaching, nothing to do with patrolling a beach for sharks and/or drownings.
      True that similar technologies are being used, but that does not make the idea the same.

      The plane shown in the article is a nothing but a rc controlled toy plane, with limited functionality.

      No company or individual is producing UAVs to protect our beaches against shark attacks and/or drownings, no matter what the season.

      Marcel Norman

  • Nigel C-D says:

    August 13, 2013 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    Hi Marcel,

    What avoidance systems are built in to avoid collisions with other low flying aircraft (who aren’t suppose to be low over the coast line but we see them daily)?


    1. Marcel Norman says:

      August 14, 2013 at 5:11 pm - Reply

      Hi Nigel

      These UAVs will be flown “FPV” which stands for First Person View with a “live” video feed back to a LCD Screen in the Ground Control Station. So the “operator” will always be aware of the craft’s surroundings. I’m also developing a collision detection system using Ultrasonic Sensors. These sensors will detect any object that comes with in 6meters of the UAV and take the necessary precautions to avoid the obstacle.

      Hope that answers your question.

      Marcel Norman

      1. bvisser says:

        September 16, 2013 at 6:12 pm - Reply

        Hi Marcel

        Although a very cool idea, FPV is still not legal in civil airspace. Should you think of applying for some “license” / permission to operate in civil airspace you will have to use equipment that is certified to aviation standards. This will add a significant amount of zeros to the end of your equipment price tag :)

        I applaud you for the idea, but I know what I’m talking about as I use to work for a company that designed UAVs for military clients. Our company wanted to adapt our technology for medical, fire fighting and poaching but the aviation authorities does not allow it.


  • winnie mofokeng says:

    August 16, 2013 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    wow this is one of the greatest ideas… best of luck

    1. Zara8777 says:

      August 16, 2013 at 3:29 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much Winnie!

      I really appreciate your support!


  • Kevin Bishop says:

    August 20, 2013 at 6:38 pm - Reply


    I think your idea is more than awesome as we have a lot of problems in this country that could be solved through innovative technology like this.
    Unnamed Aerial Vehicles are the way forward and is great that someone is using it for a good purpose.

    Best of luck!
    Kevin Bishop

  • Mehrnaz Partovi says:

    August 22, 2013 at 9:17 am - Reply

    It’s great that this country is producing geniuses like you !

    Well done!!

  • mondlic says:

    August 22, 2013 at 10:39 am - Reply

    BIG potential for BIG impact in a really BIG way :)

  • Tatum Laura Rose Moodley says:

    September 1, 2013 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    So proud of you Marcel!

    I believe this is an amazing idea :)

    Will support you guys all the way!!!! Keep up the creativity :)

  • Rivha says:

    September 30, 2013 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    this sounds like a great idea..def have my support

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