Drones, when they were first launched, had a bad reputation. But nowadays, they are being used for many purposes and now plays a vital role in search and rescue operations.
At first, drones were mainly used as an uncrewed aerial vehicle by military forces to carry out bombing and surveillance missions in other countries. Drones have more purpose to them aside from being merely a military and spy tool. They have gone a long way ever since they were first introduced and are now used for a wide variety of purposes. Drones are so advanced now that they are now preferably used for search and rescue operations. Developers have designed them to be more useful for search and rescue operations and are now able to resist any condition in the field much better.
Drones For Search & Rescue Operations
What makes drones ideal for search and rescue operations is their ability to fly in any given condition. They can quickly move in and out of disaster zones without risking the lives of real pilots and the search and rescue team. In addition to that, drones are way cheaper to use and operate instead of rescue helicopters and planes.
Here are two types of ways how drones are used during search and rescue operations.
- By strapping in a camera on a drone or an uncrewed aerial vehicle, you now have real-time overhead footage of the whole disaster area. This allows search and rescue teams to assess the overall damage and look for any survivors after the disaster.
- Strap in medical and other supplies to the drone, and you can quickly fly it into remote villages or quarantined areas and deliver them to the people who are in desperate need of help after a disaster.
Drones played an integral role in rescue operations after the natural disasters that struck Haiti and the Philippines. After the Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the island nation of the Philippines in 2013, drones were immediately used to map out the areas destroyed by the natural disaster. Search, and rescue teams attached a high-resolution camera to a drone to scout out for an ideal location as a base of their operations. They sent multiple drones to film roads to determine which roads are still passable. Other drones were sent to the nearby coast so they can see the extent of damage caused by the flood. They also have drones used for scouting the villages that were hit the hardest by the super typhoon.
Multiple search and rescue teams were very thankful for the drones at the time. People can do the things the drones service them for. However, it would take a lot more time and human resources. The drones could have also been used to search for survivors right after the super typhoon.
In the US, a drone enthusiast lent his UAV to help find the missing 82-year-old woman.
Different search and rescue teams were trying to find the lady for more than three days already. They have dogs and a helicopter team sent to find the missing old woman but to no avail. The old woman has only been discovered thanks to the camera the owner placed in the drone. If it wasn’t for the drone’s help, who knows how long people would have taken to find her? Maybe it would have taken a few more weeks or months. In line with that, we don’t even know if she is capable of surviving until then.