Drones over Haiti

Posted: July 25, 2010 in haiti

There is a lot of complaining about the US governments involvement in aid to Haiti. However what a lot of “complainers” conveniently forget is that some of the first aid efforts after the quake were carried out by the US Military. The 82nd Airborne division carried out and secured a lot of aid efforts (while the UN sat on their hands because certain areas were “too dangerous”), the US Navy put hospital ships offshore and also the US Air Force assisted bu putting RQ4 Global Hawk drones over Haiti. These drones provided live feeds from disaster struck areas and their IR-cameras allowed the capture of heat signatures generated by people trapped in the rubble. It’s great to see military assets being put to good use.

  1. Robert says:

    Another word for “drones” is UAV — unmanned air vehicle — and they come in all shapes and sizes. Not all UAVs are for military use. Some UAVs are “hand launched” and relatively affordable. There is some interesting potential there for humanitarian aid agencies, agriculture, economic development and job creation: see what Robert Blair / PineCreek Precision is doing with UAVs and “precision ag” (using UAVs and aerial imaging along with technology on the ground to precisely measure moisture levels and crop health, and apply soils ammendments in exactly the right amounts). In addition to “security,” there are many implications for ecology, topsoil preservation, reduction of pesticides & run-off control, wildlife management, etc. These small UAVs require trained operators on the ground (which means local jobs).

  2. evertb says:


    Thanks for the insightful comment.
    I couldn’t agree more. There are a multitude of uses for UAV’s.
    It would be beneficial if aid organisations or fast response teams could be served very well by having small easy to launch UAV’s for quick reconnaisance etc.
    Certainly a topic to keep an eye on.

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