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Fly high: The use of drones for safety missions

The high-resolution thermal and digital imaging that drones are able to produce aids search and rescue.

Military drones figure prominently among the exhibits at the World Defense Show in Riyadh - Copyright AFP/File Daniel LEAL
Military drones figure prominently among the exhibits at the World Defense Show in Riyadh - Copyright AFP/File Daniel LEAL

Drones are becoming an invaluable tool in firefighting, rescue services, and law enforcement. This is based on advances with aerial imaging technology and as technology has improved the application to an array of industries has increased.

Of these applications, the use of drones as a safety tool is something that is becoming widely recognized. The company xCraft has prepared a review that looks at the key applications. Some of these are assessed below.

Using Drones to Determine Risk and Allocate Resources

Whether employed in disaster response or as part of a search and rescue mission, the many benefits of using drones include the ability to quickly scan wide areas, record threats using high-resolution imagery, and give first responders immediate data to work with when allocating personnel and resources. Search and rescue is a subset of public safety operations and involves activities revolving around finding missing people.

Combined with other technology such as thermal sensor, drones can also locate missing persons in remote locations in a fraction of the time it would take an on-the-ground search-and-rescue crew.

Law Enforcement

Drones can be used to support incident response by quickly mapping out a crime or accident scene to help determine the extent of the incident and the size of the law enforcement team that needs to go in. Scouting out a danger zone in this way allows for informed decisions to be made while also ensuring the safety of officers and bystanders at the scene.

Search and Rescue

Rescue missions can be made even more dangerous for responders when there is incomplete or inaccurate information about the situation they are going into. This is particularly so at night when a lack of visibility can severely hinder search operations. Here drones play a key role in survival missions.

The high-resolution thermal and digital imaging that drones are able to produce completely eliminates this problem.

Firefighters

Large-scale fires, such as out-of-control wildfires, requires the swift aerial scanning of vast areas in order for firefighters to extinguish blazes before they reach populated areas. A drone can quickly identify fire lines so that responders can assess their threat and ensure and appropriate and timely response is initiated.

Disaster Response

Sweeping over affected areas, a drone can record property and infrastructure damage so that appropriate relief steps can take place. It is critical for responders to have the most timely and accurate data in order to send help and resources exactly where they are needed most.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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