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Drones for humanitarian Use

From Toy to Life Saver

Who will come when help is needed? Usually fire brigades, police officers or paramedics. Nevertheless, what if these helpers can’t find a way to reach people after earthquakes, floods or other life-threatening situations? In the next few years, more drones could then be deployed for humanitarian aid. The technological development of the missiles gives hope that in crisis areas there will soon be a new possibility of assistance. The first droning corridor was recently opened in the African Malawi. Likewise, there have been successful operations in various disaster areas, for example after the devastating typhoon „Haiyan“ in the Philippines. In addition, even in Europe, drones are already in use as a rescuer.

How a good idea made drones become a rescue helper in the Philippines

In the field of private use, comrades in particular are known which are used for video recordings. The devices are comparatively easy to operate, very variable in flight and equipped with a lot of technology in a narrow space, for example with a high-resolution optics. The precise air photographs, on which streets, cars and even people are clearly visible, are precisely detailed. In this respect, they are predestined for the search for victims and the cartography in disaster areas. The idea of using video dubbing not only for the digital holiday album, but also for auxiliary purposes was not far off. Therefore, it came that the small fliers in November of 2013 to one of their first large relief missions. The target area then: the Philippines. The typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest hurricanes ever measured, made over four million people homeless in the provinces of Leyte and Samar. International rescue teams were on site quickly, but the situation presented them with numerous challenges. One of the biggest problems was the unknown terrain. Although maps and records existed, because of the immense force of the natural catastrophe, the old infrastructure in the particularly affected areas was destroyed. Some organizations had fortunately provided for this case and specialized drones in their luggage. The small aircraft delivered usable video material immediately, with which current maps could be created in two-dimensional and even three-dimensional representation. As a result, the helpers received a precise overview of the situation on the ground. A circumstance that led to rapid aid measures. A particular advantage was that all relevant information could be bundled in a crisis center so that effective coordination of the rescue operations was possible from there. The high-resolution images even made it possible to locate individual victims and provide them with specific help. It is obvious that many human lives could be saved along this path.