When an unprecedented natural disaster strikes a populated area, it can cause many fatalities. The authorities and government will be on high alert and will do everything possible to save as many people as possible. Disaster management bodies will have a difficult time dealing with rescue missions and will need to make sure they are adequately prepared in case the situation worsens. This is precisely where authorities need to act quickly to ensure the security of the people affected. Let’s know why drone is seen as the ideal tool for search and rescue missions.
Drones first entered the SAR operational landscape as a substitute for costly helicopter and light aircraft operations. Helicopters and light aircraft have proven to be costly and sometimes inefficient. As a result, some SAR teams began to adopt unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to supplement their surveillance activities. However, over time, drones have proven to be able to serve other functions and processes related to rescue and incident management operations.
Of course, drones are commonly used in search and rescue (SAR) operations in many sectors, such as in the military. The use of drones for monitoring and surveillance in SAR is largely due to their ability to mount a variety of camera payloads. Thermal cameras and high zoom cameras are invaluable in SAR operations. For example, in the event of a missing person case, typical SAR operations would involve SAR personnel operating in low-altitude choppers or light aircraft to search the area with naked eyes, hoping to locate the missing person in the vicinity.
This is ideal for missions on flat terrain and in low-density forest canopy, but not ideal for high-density earth surface and dense forest canopy. Some drones are ideal for day and night use as they can be equipped with thermal cameras and beam light, while others are better suited for manoeuvring in tight spaces and allowing for more in-depth search operations. In the event of a disaster, such as a flood, earthquake or an accident, drones can also be used to track the damages, locate and identify survivors.
Drones are mainly used in rescue operations to send survival kits and food as well as to help SAR teams deliver operative tools like ropes to victims. This is more efficient than using a plane or helicopter for food drop because the packages can be dropped at the exact location in case the victim is injured or can’t get out of the area. This is very useful because rescue teams will be able to reach the victim more quickly due to obstacles like treacherous terrain and natural obstacles.
Some of these drones are ideal for these types of tasks because they can carry a high payload while maintaining good visibility. These drones are also engineered with water resistant and wind resistant features that are appropriate for SAR operations.
In conclusion, drones are becoming increasingly popular in a variety of sectors, and their usefulness in SAR is undeniable. However, there are a few drawbacks such as battery life and flight time that need to be addressed in order to improve drone performance in SAR missions.
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