While not surprising, DJI, Ireland’s Donegal Mountain Search and Rescue, and the European Emergency Number Association (EENA) have found that drones assist in finding lost persons quicker than previous tactics. They found that five-person rescue teams need an average of two hours to find their target in one square kilometer (about 247 acres). Meanwhile drones could find the target in about 20 minutes.
DJI Director of Education, Romeo Durscher, believes that by teaming up with emergency respondents, more can be learned about how the drones can be improved for search and rescue missions. They’ve already learned it’s not enough for the drone to simply locate the target.
“A drone also must be able to transmit images and GPS coordinates to other searchers and commanders as part of a coordinated software solution, deliver small rescue payloads to a victim, and serve as a beacon to guide rescuers to the right spot,” Durscher said.
DJI’s studies have also led them to collaborate with Black Channel, a research and development firm. They researched drone rescue technology in more extreme weather conditions and altitudes on Italy’s Adamello Glacier.
The study wasn’t completely successful, though Joe Eyerman, Co-Director of Black Channel says he believes drones can improve and assist search and rescue efforts.
“If we can resolve some of the minor challenges we had on this study, we would be able to give them to members of the search community right away and they could begin making the mountains a safer place,” Eyermann said.
For more information about the study read DJI’s full press release here.
Photo from DJI and Black Channel’s Adamello glacier field study.