MIT Researcher Deploys Drones to Study Climate Change Effects

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A PhD student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is using drones to study how building construction can affect a community’s resilience to climate change.

According to an MIT News article, Norhan Magdy Bayomi – a PhD student in MIT’s Department of Architecture’s Building Technology Program – deploys unmanned aircraft systems equipped with thermal cameras to “document the surface temperatures of urban buildings, including structures with a variety of designs and building materials, and outdoor conditions in the urban canyons between buildings.”

“When you look at technologies like drones, they are not really designed or commonly used to tackle problems like this,” she says. “We’re trying to incorporate this kind of technology to understand what kind of adaptation strategies are suitable for addressing climate change, especially for underserved populations.”

She specifically studied a low-income neighborhood in her hometown of Cairo, Egypt, and recently started studying communities in the Bronx, N.Y. (as seen in the video below), focusing on “how building construction, population adaptation, and the effects of climate change differ based on region,” according to MIT News.

Bayomi is also a participant in MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning’s DesignX entrepreneurship program, where she and her team founded drone data company Airworks.

More about the research can be found on MIT News.

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