Disaster Zone

The Civil War and Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

They have something in common.

by Eric Holdeman / September 12, 2017

I have read numerous times that there is little new, only adaptation of old ideas and methods utilized in new ways.

See this article, American Red Cross is launching a drone disaster-relief program. The title makes it should like they are delivering supplies, but in reality they are looking to gain situational awareness by using a drone to gather visual information.

They have an adaptation of the "normal" use of a drone that eliminates several factors that impact the utilization of drones in disasters. First is flight duration. The drone is tethered and so has continuous power to remain aloft, eliminating the need to return often to have the batteries swapped out. The 30X camera, in good visibility, will give a great view if placed properly to get the most from a single point of view. They have eliminated the need for a trained operator by having the drone be stationary and by being at the 400-foot level, they are in accordance with FAA rules on the use of drones as long as they follow the other guidance like avoiding airports, etc.  

Is it a "perfect solution"? No — but I like the creativity behind the idea.

What is the connection to the Civil War? During that war, 150 years ago, they use balloons, tethered to the ground with someone in it with a spyglass looking to "gain situational awareness" from a viewpoint that could not be gained on the ground. The drone idea is adaptation of an old idea!