A COMPANY in Cumbria has been awarded a large contract by the Crown Estates to conduct pioneering aerial surveys over sites earmarked for huge offshore wind farms.
HiDef Aerial Surveying Limited (HiDef) will use the groundbreaking technology it has developed to catalogue bird and sea mammal activity across 38,000 square kilometres of sea and continental shelf.
Its cameras operate at five times the resolution of high-definition TV cameras and can record every aspect of marine wildlife, going as far as sex and size, from 2,000ft.
The service provided by HiDef has been developed in collaboration with award-winning aerial filming company Wildcat Flying, which was a key contributor to the BBC series Planet Earth. Whitehaven-based HiDef is creating 20 new jobs immediately but expects the number to increase to 70 over the coming two years.
The business is already looking at further expansion after receiving enquiries from businesses in the United States, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Germany and Belgium. It is also actively looking at opportunities in China after the country recently announced plans to build some of the world's largest offshore wind farms.
The Crown Estates contract and subsequent interest is a major coup for HiDef - a business spawned from nuclear technology specialists REACT Engineering three years ago.
Mark Robinson, business manager at HiDef said: "No other business in the world can offer the services we provide and we are delighted to …