What is a UAV Pilot?
A UAV Pilot is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, otherwise known as a Drone. You can use drones for a variety of things, including:
- Capturing live events
- Mapping out infrastructure
- Law enforcement
- Delivering small parcels
- Assessing dangerous situations
- Watching wildlife
- Helping with disaster aid
UAV Pilots Helping Natural Disasters
Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami’s, floods, tornado’s… the list goes on. There are many natural disasters that take place world-wide, as you know. Recovering from a natural disaster is time consuming, dangerous and tiring, with many limitations. Drones can be used to assist aid, during and after disasters to make the process as quick and easy as possible. Technology advances are frequent, and this one might just save a life.
UAV Pilots can be the quicker way of saving victims of disaster sites. Real information on the damage and severity of situations usually takes from 45 minutes to 1 hour to gather after a disaster site, using helicopters and ground-based rescuers. If someone is stuck or injured from the impact, this can be a matter of life or death. Drones on the other hand, can be up and in the air in 3 minutes. The speed of this, allows sites to be monitored almost immediately.
You can use drones to spot people in need of help faster than ground-based searchers, with less danger faced. As they are unmanned, you can scout the danger zones safely and quickly assess and make a plan of rescue. It is easier to think of a solution on the spot, if you are safe yourself.
High resolution cameras are used in drones to allow real-time images to be formed. This is advantageous in disasters as they are able to zoom and regulate images from an aerial view.
Drones are also a speedier way of recovery as they allow you to search at night. Usually in rescue missions, night-time searches are more dangerous to people on foot. Using a UAV Pilot allows for clear images with the use of night vision camera’s. What once was more dangerous and more difficult to do, can now be done safely. This means that no time is spared and searches can continue throughout the night. Every minute counts.
Delivery Of Small Items
In hard to reach places, it may take rescuers more time to be able to access the victims. Using drone technology, they can receive vital pieces of equipment to aid them while they await to be rescued. Items such as life jackets, rescue ropes and first aid equipment can be transported to those hard to reach places. This all aids in rescue missions as it gives the on foot troops, time to access the survivors. This can be vital as it again could save a life or minimise injury.
Drones can access what is known as a “danger zone” which humans cannot. This is vital in disaster relief as infrared cameras can be fitted so that drones can see through smoke of fires or even dust. What the human eye can’t see, drones can, allowing assistance for the rescue team. This could prevent the on foot searchers from entering a dangerous situation and can also prevent wasted time. There’s no point going through a dust cloud and spending time blindly searching if there is nothing to find. This allows time to be spent wisely on situations that need it.
No-fly zones mean that certain zones aren’t allowed aerial vehicles in. This can be for a variety of reasons but the main concern is safety to all people involved. During a natural disaster, no-fly zones are determined as larger air vehicles create noise disruption. If you are travelling on foot, searching for survivors and have a helicopter flying low above you, your chances of hearing cries for help is near impossible.
Noise disruption can simply create a disruption to safety as well. If you are unable to hear properly in what is already a dangerous environment, you may miss danger signs such as debris falling. However, drones are incredibly quieter than helicopters. As they are a lot smaller in size, it means that you can usually fly one in a no-fly zone because they don’t make enough noise to create a disruption. This is handy because it means that you have aerial photography to assist you and on foot troops in an area. This ensures the area can be checked aerially to see if any dangers need to be avoided.
Drones can be fitted with audio enhancing technology. This means that rather than disrupting areas with the noise, you can enhance your hearing with advanced audio. This allows the drone to pick up hard-to-hear audio, ranging from a survivor crying for help, to movement.
Further Debris/Dust Risk When Flying
You may also come across a no-fly zone because of debris/dust risks. This can either be to the pilots or the people on ground. Large vehicles, like helicopters can cause more danger than help in some situations. Helicopter propellers can unsettle the dust/debris on site, which can make it more difficult to see through and also dangerous because of the debris flying about.
Being small in size and lightweight, ensures that you can fly drones through no-fly zones without affecting the area. Additionally, you can fit a UAV Pilot with infrared cameras, so they can see through dust and smoke.
Assessing Further Risks
Using a UAV Pilot, allows you to assess further risks and can save lives doing so. If a natural disaster has occurred, you can experience further disruptions afterwards. It isn’t always over when search missions commence. Using a UAV Pilot, means that you can measure chemical levels, radiation levels, assess building structure safety and smoke levels. You don’t want to be travelling through a danger zone.
Fit drones with technology to determine if there may be more natural disaster occurrences, for example another tsunami or flood to follow. You can also use drones to allow professionals to determine how long an area is going to be affected for. Knowing when water levels are going to drop, allows you to plan more.
Cheaper Than Traditional Methods
Using a UAV Pilot rather than helicopter will cut costs substantially. The cost of a UAV Pilot, on average is from £11,500-£39,000, which is less than a quarter of what a helicopter would cost. You can use drones for relief cheaper, which could help poorer countries with their search aid as some can’t access funds to enable aerial views.
The Clean Up
Once you have found all survivors and the site is deemed safer, the fight isn’t over because you then have to assess the damage to buildings and homes. Families will be homeless so it is important that the clean up mission is as fast as possible. Drones will help you to assess safety of the affected areas. You can also use drones to establish the costs of rebuilding infrastructures- a method insurance companies favour. It is quicker and cheaper for insurance companies to establish the risks and determine what actions will need to be done.
After a deadly 7.1 quake rocked central Mexico on September 19th 2017, drones were used to illustrate the damage, which levelled dozens of buildings. Drone footage later emerged of its destruction and search efforts. This real-life example shows just how helpful drones can be.
We hope that this article helped you to learn more about drones and their uses in natural disaster aid. You can take a look at more useful information on UAV Pilots here.
You can also search into drone training courses via our website here.
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