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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles mapping found good use in emergency response, agriculture and environmental industry

Mapping using UAVs CREDIT: Global Unmanned Systems

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are not just meant for the activities at war field, but now modified for much peaceful usages. The usages include spraying crops, clicking images of crop fields beyond spectrum or capturing a bird’s-eye view of the flooded areas.

Storm hit the Edinburg area recently which filled the local houses with water. The aerial video footage of the flooded areas is helping the local administration to have a proper view of the affected zones. While the locals are helpless, the administration is already at work to pump out the flood water from the areas.

They have been able to place pumps with the help of UAV captured videos. According to the area Commissioner, they are making use of the drone footage to find the best spot to place the pumps. They are using drones in combination with topography, flood maps, system maps, and date.

On the other hand, researchers think that UAVs can be the future of farming. With the help of its aerial photography of the remote areas, it can help them with detailed insight. The flying footage helps them find the need for nutrients and water, and how to curb any wastage.

For some time there was a lapse in the agricultural research field with the help of drones. It was due to the Government rules that researchers were unable to use drones for their studies. However last year, post the rules were eased off, Chris Hartman started his research again using UAVs. He is a researcher at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Hartman can orient the quadcopters at exactly 100 meters above the field and click photos of the entire landscape in a jiffy. He is a certified pilot.

He is further looking to use drones to test water. According to him it will be much simple and fast than using a boat. In the meanwhile, drones to seem to please even the conservationists. senseFly offers a range of UAVs for the researchers to trace glaciers, flooding, hunt for rare mistletoe at the Cayman Islands, and to calculate the total number of seals in Canada. For the seal count they will use thermal imaging.

Matt Wade, marcomms manager at senseFly says that when they initially started making drones for mapping, their target were the surveillance and geographic systems. He added saying that they were surprised with the way customers used it for environment. This was something that they could never expect.

Drones are also used to audit beach erosion in UK by the Environment departments. The practice seems to be on rise with Conservation Drones (an NGO), working with drone makers. Their aim is to produce cost-effective drones so that the environmental groups can use them for a better purpose.

Wade sees plenty of advantages in using a drone. The UAVs will cover remote areas in a matter of time. They will also offer a safer and viable option instead of covering remote areas on foot. The UAVs can also capture high quality videos and images at a lower cost.

The cameras attached to drones can capture superior images. The drone images are 10 times better in terms of quality than the satellite images. The fact that drones are mostly automated, lightweight, and rechargeable does not scare off animals. It also lowers the possibility of any adverse effect on environment. Wade believes that it may just be the beginning for drones in the environmental sector; however it will soon create the buzz.

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