How Drones Are Being Used In Search and Rescue

Drones are a great tool for rescue and search.

The field of search and rescue is often praised for its heroism, but also for its hardship. Although this is true, search and rescue workers might be more open to discussing the hardships. It is not an easy task to walk through forests, hike on trails, or dive in a lake looking for a drowned victim.

Drones make it much easier to locate the victim of the rescue and search. The process of finding a victim is easier than ever with drones that can be used for everything from standard RGB cameras to high-end thermal infrared drones and underwater sonar drones.

It is now possible to locate victims and extract them using heavy-lift drones. This method of extraction will soon be as common as drones for location.

Unmanned Aerial Operation’s pilots uses drones to assists in finding people and property, leveraging part 107 and thermal, RGB, and underwater drones.

RGB Drones for Search and Rescue

Unmanned Aerial Operations Drone Photography / Aerial Imaging
Unmanned Aerial Operations Drone Photography / Aerial Imaging

This is the beginning of it all. Unmanned aerial vehicles are a marvel. The small, unmanned drone was a miracle.

There are many uses for standard RGB camera drones. You will find rushing water, sheer drops from cliffs and ravines in rocks at places like the Grand Canyon. This type of terrain can be difficult to navigate. People are often exposed to the heat and die from it. It would be too difficult to find them even if they knew they were gone.

Drones can fly up to 2 miles if there is a line of sight. The pilot can stay in one place while scanning every corner of the canyon. The tan background would make it easy to spot a hiker who is injured or lost.

The drone can be manually piloted by a pilot, or it can be programmed to automatically fly. This allows the drone scan the canyon and not miss a single inch.

Park Rangers might be walking the canyon to search for the hiker lost. It is difficult to get into a ravine without getting stuck. They get out their mini drone and send it down to find the unconscious hiker, who had missed the ravine, and then fell in. The rescue of life.

Thermal Drones for Search and Rescue Operations

Thermal Drone Image From Unmanned Aerial Opertions

The thermal drone is an evolution of the traditional camera drone. This tool makes it irrelevant whether a person is wearing bright clothing or not. The heat signature of the human body is usually higher than those around it.

The quality and range of thermal drones is variable. These drones can be used in adverse weather conditions. Some drones, like the Parrot Anafi thermal, are not. It does an excellent job of finding missing persons, but this is not to say that it’s perfect.

These thermal drones are expensive. These thermal drones are expensive and agencies often spend a lot of money to buy them. Drones such as the Parrot Anafi Thermal and the Mavic Enterprise Dual can be purchased by individuals, small agencies and large organizations alike.

A dementia-afflicted elderly man went missing for eight hours recently. He was in a rural location, so it was difficult to know where he was going. His confusion from dementia would also cause panic, which would lead him to wander further into the wilderness. His family believed he was over it.

The Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office deployed their thermal drone, and found him within an hour.

The old timer was found lying face down in a field, virtually invisible to passers-by.

Below is the video of the deputy officers finding the elderly man using their thermal drone.

It is obvious that thermal drones will continue being a benefit to search and rescue operations in many different ways. As these drones become cheaper, so will good samaritans and agencies using them.

Search and Rescue with Underwater Drones

Underwater Drone Courtesy of Unmanned Aerial Operations

Aerial drones had a huge impact on the rescue and search field. It wasn’t long before underwater helicopters started doing the same. The underwater drones can reach areas that rescue teams wearing full scuba gear might have difficulty reaching.

The underwater drones are also known as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). After hours of cleaning the bottom of a lake in search of drowned victims, a dive team can get tired. Their oxygen supply is decreasing.

The search team can deploy their ROV underwater and continue the search. The underwater drone is able to ascend and descend, unlike divers who must go through several stages of depressurizing and pressurizing.

High-powered flood lights are used to illuminate underwater drones. Although these lights have varying levels of effectiveness, they can still provide at least one foot of visibility in poor visibility.

The underwater drone’s ability to spend time underwater is another advantage. The underwater drone can carry a charge of up to 2 hours even if it is “middle of the road”. An ROV pilot can scan the lakebed in search of missing persons from a fixed position. The lake bed can be thoroughly scanned if more than one ROV pilot are present.

ROVs can be equipped with sonar detection units to further explore the benefits of underwater drones in search and rescue. The ROV can be used in conjunction with sonar to map the lakebed. This allows for the search of even the most darkest parts of the lake.

Many large underwater drones have grappling arms. A rescue mission can be made if the drone’s propulsion system is strong enough. An underwater drone can cut through the waves and grab someone who is being washed to sea.

It can transport the person to shore using its protected propellers.

This tool is currently being developed and tested. Its efficiency and uses will only increase beyond what it already has.

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