Drones are being used more and more these days. In search activities, the examples are the identification of objects of illegal building development, the identification of mines and their detonation, etc. Another example is search, detection and identification of objects in real time, including the determination of their exact coordinates and data transmission. You can also search for objects by analyzing photographs and/or videos. The drone can be equipped with a wide variety of sensors – from multispectral cameras to radiation and magnetic field sensors, metal detectors and thermal imagers. Mentioning the last one, we have approached our current topic – drones in search and rescue operations.
Examples of using drones in search for missing people
Nowadays, there is nothing better in finding a missing person than engaging a volunteer in the daytime. They can search on foot, or driving down the terrain using their private or rental car. Moreover, different technologies can speed things up. For instance for:
- Overall safety
Structures such as the Ministry of Emergency Situations at several countries use drones for emergency prevention, emergency monitoring and search for missing people or for people after natural disasters, as well as rapid delivery of what is required in an emergency.
- Rescue on the water
There is an increasingly active development of using drones and robots in helping drowning people. Moreover, drones are used in some countries to identify sharks near beaches. This way the tourists, who take rental cars under 25 new Orleans and drive to the Gulf of Mexico beaches, could have an opportunity to monitor the proximity of sharks to the shore.
Innovations in using drones for people search:
- Rega drone
The Swiss Rega aviation rescue organization announced a drone capable of independently searching for missing people. With a variety of built-in sensors, including a visible light camera, thermal imaging camera, infrared camera and cell phone tracking equipment, this drone can scan large areas of terrain in search of people.
Since its foundation, the company has consistently used cutting-edge technology to improve air rescue operations and help even more people in distress.
The drone is equipped with a three-bladed main rotor with a diameter of just over 2 meters. Designed to fly at an altitude of 80-100 meters, it uses satellite navigation techniques to methodically cover a predefined search area autonomously. The drone is also equipped with an anti-collision system and an emergency parachute. It can also operate in poor visibility conditions.
The Rega drone can operate for hours at a distance of several kilometers without direct control by a human operator. The drone is designed both to work with the rescue team and as an extension of the capabilities of already in service helicopters.
In 2018, the Rega Air Rescue Organization conducted 160 aerial searches for missing people. The new drone, ultimately, should actually improve the location of people and save lives.
- DroneSAR software
New DroneSAR software allows you to optimize searches and speed them up. In particular, all control panels with the program receive data on the current location of all involved drones. In addition, it also broadcasts images from the cameras of each drone to a single control center for the search and rescue operation.
Thanks to DroneSAR, search and rescue teams, located at different points in the terrain, from the beginning can choose different areas for the search. With the ability to quickly rent a car almost anywhere in the world, it will not be a problem for the squads to meet each other in order to discuss the current situation. Then, using the application, the squad, whose drone finds the lost person, can mark a point on the map, and the software will send a text message with coordinates to all squads participating in the search. The drone that finds a person will hover over him or her, acting as a visual marker.
Today, search and rescue teams often use drones for reconnaissance and determining priority areas in searching for missing people. In addition, several squads with their drones can take part in the search. People can use car rental to share data faster. To summarize, this innovation has many advantages and should be better adapted for use in emergencies.