Search and rescue
Time is critical to saving lives in life-threatening situations. That’s why it’s a key aspect of drones that they can be deployed in minutes by virtually anyone – they also have far fewer flight restrictions than helicopters. This makes them an essential tool for Search and Rescue (SAR) activities because an immediate launch where the environment, situation and terrain is unknown can make all the differences in finding the target.
Drones perform four pivotal operations in SAR:
- They can quickly and accurately map the terrain which can prepare foot searches for the environment. It can enhance the efficiency of searches while maximising safety for all involved.
- They can directly search for the missing person or people through thermal cameras that trace heat sources, providing one of the best ways to find someone, especially at night time. Drones have a large coverage area with the best vantage point from above while moving quickly, scanning locations fast to help find the person as soon as possible.
- Drones can use their powerful vantage point to map a path to a person once found, as rough terrain can be a time-consuming obstacle to retrieving them safely.
- Drones can supply essential equipment to support the found person such as a buoy, medicine, warm clothes or a first aid kit, improving the chance of survival once found.
Disaster and emergency
Drones are highly effective in disaster management as they can perform damage assessments that aid an effective response, supply essential deliveries to people in situations that are unreachable by roads and aid communication infrastructure or act as radio repeaters when channels are down.
Drones can perform all of these critical and life-saving actions with agility, controllability and at a fraction of the cost of traditional sky travel methods. They can also deploy immediately and can be controlled by many people safely, making their response fast and effective.
Drones have already replaced traditional and expensive law enforcement tools, such as helicopters. They’re much safer to everyone involved and can perform a wider range of applications than traditional methods, including:
- Surveillance of public events or protests
- Surveillance of restrictions such as borders and streets during curfew
- Crime scene investigation analysis and monitoring
- Air support during interventions
- Tethered overscene camera to accompany body cams
- Delivering audio orders using a loudspeaker at various overhead locations
- Detection of illegal activities
Drones can be used individually or in conjunction with each other in an array of patterns and structures for optimised support. For example, a drone can be mounted with multiple cameras – one high-resolution camera, a camera with a powerful zoom and a thermal camera for comprehensive image processing.
Surveillance is both simplified and optimised with drone assistance. Drones can cover a wide area and have their flight path automated while knowing when to come back and charge themselves automatically before returning to patrol.
Drones also harness AI and can send alerts and notifications of suspicious behaviour. An optimised drone security surveillance system can minimise the risk of interacting with armed trespassing, reduce damages and deter criminals and trespasses altogether.