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#266267 - 01/01/14 06:51 PM Re: CrowdSourcing SAR Searches [Re: Pete]
hikermor Offline
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Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7076
Loc: southern Cal
SAR is like real estate - the three most important things are location, location, and location. Once you have found the victim with a UAV, you most likely will want to get an actual human, preferably trained, on scene. Your victim will probably need first aid, or at least a fairly thorough assessment. You could send in some supplies, but a priority will be boots at the scene, and the development of more information.

SAR will certainly be profoundly influenced by these developments.
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#266270 - 01/01/14 09:14 PM Re: CrowdSourcing SAR Searches [Re: Pete]
AKSAR Offline
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Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1146
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: Pete
One possible solution to this is to use a two-drone rescue system. The initial drone is just a small aircraft with a camera. The follow-up drone is launched after the victim is found. The second drone is a heavier "cargo drone" that drops a 10-15 pound package. This is efficient because the cargo drone does not have to fly a long search route ... The target of the drop is already located.
Originally Posted By: hikermor
SAR is like real estate - the three most important things are location, location, and location. Once you have found the victim with a UAV, you most likely will want to get an actual human, preferably trained, on scene. Your victim will probably need first aid, or at least a fairly thorough assessment. You could send in some supplies, but a priority will be boots at the scene, and the development of more information.
Hikermor has a key point. In almost every case, if you located the subject of a search, the very next move would be to get a trained rescuer on scene ASAP. In most cases it should be possible to get a helo to any location located by a drone (though that might involve winching someone down from a hover). I would think it would be an very uncommon situation where one might send in supplies before a rescuer. Possible, but unusual.

This brings up another point. The above discussion seems to assume that the subject has been positively located. A very likely case is that observation by drone locates a possible subject, or perhaps only a possible clue. A bit of color showing through the vegetation, is it the subject, a bit of clothing the subject discarded, or just some litter? A shape in the shadows that looks vaguely human? A few degraded footprints in a muddy patch, are they human or just a critter? I think almost any case that one spotted something interesting from a drone, the IMT would want to get some highly trained boots on the ground ASAP.
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#266273 - 01/01/14 09:33 PM Re: CrowdSourcing SAR Searches [Re: AKSAR]
Russ Offline
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Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5237
Loc: SOCAL
Are any of these drones using IR/thermal sensors or just visual spectrum? Once you go to the trouble of putting up a sensor package, make it broad spectrum -- IR & visual. I'd even examine the benefit of it being able to ping a cell phone. Even if it can't actually locate a cell phone, a ping in the wilderness is a datum.

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#266276 - 01/02/14 12:12 AM Re: CrowdSourcing SAR Searches [Re: Teslinhiker]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
Russ. ... Good suggestions. I'm sure that the military uses a variety of sensors, including thermal. Likewise, some sheriffs departments with a lot of resources have good thermal sensors mounted on helicopters.

The challenge for SAR drones will be to get these vehicles reliable enough that expensive kit can be mounted on them. Otherwise if the drone goes down, the loss in hardware is expensive.

Another challenge is that every additional sensor adds extra weight to the vehicle. And each sensor also requires power, which adds batteries and even moe weight. It's a feasible problem for UAV airplanes, but a tough problem for small copters where the weight carrying capability is not high.

More work needed. :-)

ASKAR ... Yes very good point. Drones might give clues. They wouldn't necessarily give a guaranteed result - unless they spotted someone waving, or clearly marked distress signals on the ground. On the positive side, if a drone operator thinks he/she has found something, a good approach is to make more overflights at lower altitudes and inspect closely from various angles. Also, the drone could drop a flare or blast a loud horn ... Something to get the attention of a victim on the ground.

Pete


Edited by Pete (01/02/14 12:19 AM)

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#266278 - 01/02/14 01:35 AM Re: CrowdSourcing SAR Searches [Re: Pete]
hikermor Offline
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Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7076
Loc: southern Cal
The thing is, a well administered operation wouldn't use drones instead of human teams,or dogs, or any other technique. In the best case, all of these modes will coordinate and work together. The drone will see something interesting and a team will follow up, etc.

BTW, I can recall only one instance in which the victim was attempting any kind of signal.



the group was using a signal mirror and it did result in a team responding to their location.These days,most folks are going to use their cell phones, if they can. If a drone UAV is responding to a cell phone call,it might be possible to load it up with supplies.
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#266286 - 01/02/14 01:58 PM Re: CrowdSourcing SAR Searches [Re: Teslinhiker]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1372
Well ... This has been an interesting discussion. One of the better threads on ETS. It's certainly given me plenty of food for thought. I hope some constructive things develop out of it. It would be nice to see some of the ideas here put into actual practice in the real world.

Pete

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#266297 - 01/02/14 06:07 PM Re: CrowdSourcing SAR Searches [Re: Pete]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
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Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7076
Loc: southern Cal
I agree with you completely. Looking at your link, there are a whole bunch of interesting gadgets that one could integrate into SAR, among other things. A lot of discussion about peaceful application of drones has centered around privacy issues, a very legitimate question. SAR would certainly be a most positive use of this technology, and the sooner,the better.

Please note that Alaska beat out Ventura County, California, as a location to develop civilian applications. The weather is fine down here, now...What's it like up in AL?
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