Advantages of using drones in SAR missions.

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Nowadays, in the summer season, the percentage of people who are active outdoors increases. One of the drawbacks that often happens in good weather is that some people, especially the elderly, become disoriented.  

 

Rescues per moth

   Number of mountain rescues per moth carried out by SEPA Asturias (2020-2022)

 

 

Another risk in the summer season is forest fires, which increase every year, helped in part by climate change that intensifies temperatures and contributes to large outbreaks.   

 

Drones are the perfect ally in these situations, as the deployment of a drone is much faster than that of a helicopter, for example, and the costs are also lower. It is true that drones are not suitable for all missions, as they have a shorter range and must therefore be used in smaller areas than helicopters.  

 

Today, technology has proven to be an essential support tool for search and rescue teams and firefighters, with drones being a growing element, implemented to optimise processes and provide the necessary assistance. Thanks to their manoeuvrability and speed, UAVs are used in missions to save lives in accidents, disappearances and natural disasters. Here are 5 advantages of using drones in SAR missions:  

 

 

 

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1. Improved response time.

Drones can be deployed in a few minutes, so the drone can take off and start the mission in less time than it would take to deploy the ground teams and start tracking. On the other hand, the take-off of a drone is not comparable to the take-off of a helicopter, as the drone would be flying the area before the helicopter left the airport.  

 

 

2. Bird’s eye view, covering more area than ground equipment.

The bird’s eye view provided by the drone makes a big difference to SAR teams, helping them to locate more quickly by observing a wider area at a glance, reducing mission time. In addition, many drones carry cameras and infrared that help in certain missions to locate missing persons, reducing time.  

 

 

3. Cost reduction.  

Drones are a cheaper alternative to traditional methods, such as the use of helicopters. This makes it possible to optimise financial resources and direct them to other operational needs.  

 

 

4. Safety.  

The use of drones in SAR missions improves safety for both search and rescue teams and people in emergency situations. UAVs can access dangerous or hard-to-reach areas without exposing the people in the search and rescue team, as they can deploy the drone from a safe area and perform the scan from a high altitudekeeping the team safe.  

 

 

5. Manoeuvrability.  

Drones have a high manoeuvrability, which in critical situations is a great advantage, as it facilitates the work of the rescue team. They are a very good option because they can be used to access places that are difficult to reach, such as collapsed buildings in disaster areas, e.g. due to fires, tsunamis or earthquakes. 

 

 

 

 

Vídeo Drone - Vigili del Fuoco

 

 

 

In conclusion, the use of drones in search and rescue missions and in fighting forest fires has proven to be an essential tool in the summer season. All the advantages mentioned in this post make drones an increasingly popular and effective option.  

In addition, technological solutions that can be implemented on drones, such as Lifeseeker in its Mini version, offer innovative solutions to maximise efficiency in critical drone missions. Many teams, such as Vigili del Fuoco, already employ these technologies.  

 

 

 

Did you know the advantages of drones in SAR missions?