In response to the recent 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal, Aeryon Labs Inc. has deployed three of its small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) and an Aeryon pilot to the affected region.
“The Global Medic UAV team responded immediately to the crisis in Nepal. sUAS provide us the unmatched capability to get on-site and into the air immediately to start determining how and where to provide support to the people,” says Rahul Singh, executive director of GlobalMedic.
Damage to, or the complete loss of, fundamental infrastructure such as airstrips and refueling facilities can make manned aircraft operations in disaster-relief scenarios very challenging, explains Aeryon.
Sending rescue workers into damaged structures or rubble piles to search for survivors can also be dangerous. According to Aeryon, sUAS enable ground-based rescue teams to collect critical visual intelligence and deploy rescue resources quickly, carefully and exactly where they are most needed.
The Aeryon sUAS being sent to Nepal are equipped with thermal cameras to help locate survivors by detecting body heat, as well as the company’s newest imaging payload, the Aeryon HDZoom30, which can be used at extended distances to zoom in to see a target with clarity and detail. For example, operators are able to recognize a face from over 1,000 feet (300 meters) away.
The team will also undertake aerial mapping of the affected areas by building 2D and 3D maps so that further response efforts can be planned.
Aeryon sUAS were deployed in the aftermath of the August 2014 landslide that devastated the region along the banks of the Sunkoshi River in northern Nepal. Despite the high altitude and rugged terrain of Nepal, Aeryon says its sUAS proved effective.
“It’s an honour to see the technology you create make such a difference,” comments Dave Kroetsch, president and CEO of Aeryon Labs. “We are privileged to be able assist the aid workers who are helping the people of Nepal.”