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Hurricane Katrina saw the first deployment of drones in a disaster, setting the stage for such drone deployments worldwide — from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident to the Nepal earthquake. Sensefly, lent their hand to a disaster relief team in Nepal by capturing high quality imagery with GPS co-ordinates that allowed the relief teams to locate people trapped in debris. The hurricane was a landmark for drone technologies, pivotal in their development for emergencies.

The last decade has seen an evolution in small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This is especially true for multi-rotors, whose systems are less mechanically complex, easier to control and more compact than the radio-controlled helicopters that explored the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Even bigger, but less visible, are changes to software and user interfaces, particularly for controlling UAVs, image quality. And, software now turns images into maps that are more accurate than satellite imagery and 3D reconstructions, letting responders see a disaster from any angle, like in a video game.

With RocketMine having participated in its first Search and Rescue mission, assisting in more missions would be welcomed as the limits of drone application is yet to be realised. With RocketMine, you can obtain high quality data of hectares of land and that can be used to locate people and unstable land that will not be safe for relief efforts.

“South Africa is lucky because we rarely experience hurricanes and earthquakes. If there are other ways that we can assist in emergency situations, we are open to lending a hand” – Chris Clark, RocketMine Division Head.

“We have extensive knowledge in the mining industry and have participated in emergency situation on mines. Knowing what images can be obtained from those missions, it would be an experience to explore more.”- Clark.

Contact RocketMine for more information on Drone technology

– with thanks to Yahoo News.