Use of Drones Helps Assess Hurricane Disaster

By Omar Latif,
Technology and Innovation Writer

In the recent destruction Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have left behind, victims are desperately trying to piece their lives back together. In response, drones are now being tested to help bring relief as quickly as possible to the devastated areas.
The aerial vehicle technology can be used not only to find survivors amid the debris but also used to bring relief supplies and assess damage for insurance claims.
NBC news reported that, “Among the groups that put up drones over Houston in Harvey’s wake was one led by Dr. Robin Murphy, a professor of computer science at Texas A&M University and director of the university’s Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue. Her team flew 119 UAV missions over Houston using a range of drones, from small quadcopters like the ones popular with hobbyists to the military-grade Insitu ScanEagle, an unmanned plane that launches from a catapult.”
A CNN technology article states that not only are insurance agencies benefiting from the drone technology, but so are Verizon, AT&T and Flordia Light and Power.
In order to assess the damage that Hurricane Irma left behind, a military drone called the Predator was flown across the damage stricken areas to insepect the status of infrastructure such as bridges, dams, towers etc.
This new technology will drastically change the way relief is provided in a natural disaster and provide an efficient way to predict severity of natural disasters as they are happening and also provide the necessary details after it has happened.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 26th print edition.

Contact Omar at
omar.latif@student.shu.edu

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