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DJI drones assist in Vietnamese search and rescue mission

Josh Spires | 07 May, 2021 | The Sphere Drones Blog

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In October of last year, Cambodia and Vietnam were heavily damaged as the monsoon season resulted in floods and landslides, forcing millions of people to uproot their lives, searching for a safer area to live temporarily.

Over the weeks of heavy rain, the death toll rose to over 230, with 66 people still missing. On top of that, 7,000 hectares of crops were destroyed, and more than 690,000 cattle and poultry were swept away in floodwater. Sixteen national highways and more than 160,000 meters of local roads had also been severely affected.

The ongoing battle

The heavy rains resulted in many landslides, resulting in the hydro powerplant becoming covered in debris with workers and locals trapped underneath it all. This prompted the search and rescue teams to call in one of Vietnam's largest drone providers, AGS Technologies.

Specifically, the DJI Matrice 300 RTK and DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual drones were brought in. The M300 RTK was equipped with a Zenmuse H20T zoom camera alongside a thermal sensing camera. Both worked together to create maps and 3D models of the disaster area to give teams a better idea of what happened and a plan to enter the zone.

The team needed to get the drones deep into the jungle, packing them up into their hard protective cases, putting them on a boat and trekking them to the control centre. Once at the control centre, both drones helped the search and rescue teams complete the following:

  • Capture aerial footage of the affected area and transmit it to the command centre
  • Utilize thermal imaging to search for survivors and support rescue workers 
  • Provide detailed 3D imaging for damage assessment and post-disaster event reconstruction

The drones were also used to create Wi-Fi hotspots as much of the network infrastructure was damaged during the monsoons. The team from AGS Technologies also equipped the drones with payload drop mechanisms to deliver emergency supplies to those in hard-to-reach locations.

If you would like to learn more about our search and rescue offerings, head over here. If you would like to talk to one of our friendly sales staff, hit the button on the bottom right corner of the page.

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