The Use of Expendable UAVs After Typhoon Haiyan ~Patrick Meier, iRevolution

Posted on June 10, 2014 By

Super Typhoon Haiyan on November 6, 2013. Image Credit: CIMSS -Click to enlarge

Super Typhoon Haiyan on November 6, 2013. Image Credit: CIMSS
Click to enlarge

With our continuous coverage of Unmanned Arial Vehicles, my best go-to source for the word has become Patrick Meier at iRevolution. Scroll down our timeline of posts and you’ll see him all over this issue, from Humanitarian Disaster Response to Federal Statutes governing our access and use of this vital, life-saving technology.  ~Bruce Biles

My colleague Dr. Imes Chiu recently co-authored this report (PDF) on his team’s use of expendable UAVs following Typhoon Haiyan (known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines). Imes is Chief of Applied Research at the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (COE-DMHA) based in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Highlights of the report:

  • “The interdisciplinary […] team concluded that during the rapid response phase of disaster management, aerial imagery of damaged areas proved more useful than a detailed needs-assessment.”
  • “Imagery provided by civil drones enabled local government units to immediately and accurately assess the extent of the damage in their jurisdictions, even when operating with a significantly reduced staff.”
  • “What they [relief workers] actually need at this point is to get an accurate understanding and a very detailed picture at the village level, at the camp level, as to what exactly is going on.”
  • “During Haiyan recovery operations, civil drones were quickly adopted as routine operating procedures for many humanitarian groups. Overcoming the logistical challenges posed by massive debris in Tacloban, civil drones provided many NGOs much needed situational awareness at a time when needs-assessment teams did not have access to the disaster area.” Read more.

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