Aeryon Labs Inc., a Waterloo, Ontario-based manufacturer of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), is highlighting its disaster-recovery support in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
On the island of St. Maarten, Aeryon partnered with relief organization GlobalMedic to provide aerial intelligence to first responders and international disaster-relief teams on the ground.
Rahul Singh, executive director of GlobalMedic, says, “Using UAS for aerial intelligence and reconnaissance enables us to rapidly determine how and where to help the people who need it the most. Aeryon’s UAS are built for reliable operations in extreme conditions like high winds and torrential rain, making them the perfect aerial asset for our disaster-response efforts.”
The Aeryon SkyRanger drones deployed to the Caribbean are equipped with Aeryon SR-EO/IR Mk II thermal cameras to help locate survivors by detecting body heat. In addition, Aeryon’s HDZoom30 cameras are providing detailed facial recognition from over 1,000 feet away.
“UAS enable ground-based rescue teams to collect critical aerial intelligence and deploy rescue resources quickly and where they are needed most,” comments Bill McHale, CEO of Aeryon Labs. “We are proud to be able to support the Irma relief efforts and to continue developing advanced UAS technology that helps save lives.”
In addition to search-and-rescue work, GlobalMedic is using SkyRanger drones to create detailed 2D and 3D maps of the affected areas so that first responders can prioritize resources and coordinate the most effective response. In areas where the majority of buildings have been destroyed, the maps will also provide valuable information that will aid in the rebuilding efforts.
The Hurricane Irma response is the fourth time Aeryon has partnered with GlobalMedic and its RescUAV program, which uses drone technology to aid in disasters. Aeryon deployed UAS and pilots to assist after the Nepal earthquake in 2015, the Ecuador earthquake in 2016, and the Columbian landslides earlier this year.