I have an emergency project and I need your help. I am putting a presentation together for the fire department where I work on UAVs. I need info or links as to why UAVs are better than manned vehicles. Specifically, I remember some aircraft crashing recently where the search team died but the hiker was later found alive. I googled, but didn't find much. Anything like that would be appreciated. Thank you VERY much!-dave

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  • For SAR they would be helpful in scanning cliff faces, like when a climber is missing. Also, tight areas that are not very accessible like a gully, wash, or canyon where you cannot fly in a full size aircraft, and people have to go in on foot. A larger UAV with a FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red) camera would be perfect for those kinds of searches.
  • Hello there Dave,

    Hows it going? If your making a presentation to any of the emergency services your best tack is to
    calculate a risk assessment over the period of endangerment to fire fighters and the members of the public
    at risk of death or injury over the time line of different scenarios like;

    (I am not a fire fighter so I am just guessing the most likely scenarios for usage)

    General Industrial complex: warehouse/old factory large compound fire,
    Specific industrial setting with added risk of exposure to chemicals or explosion,
    Missing person at risk from exposure to the elements.

    you would then have to calculate risk again now with the positive factors:

    Time scale of data collection.
    Time scale of data analysis/ evaluation of primary and secondary risks to the endangering conditions
    Time scale running from analysis to action

    I am really thinking about this in terms of operating a vehicle with thermal imaging as this would be
    the tool for the job in the scenarios above.

    Most people with common sense and a little imagination can grasp the benefits by this point even if you leave them to find someone else to do those calculations.

    So far as I understand most critical aviation failures are due to human error.
    I guess that as time goes by the same will be true of UAVS.
    probably because the operator turns off the auto pilot!

    The most frequently identified primary causal factors in the 589 fatal accidents were as

    Fatal accidents
    1) Lack of positional awareness in air 123 (20.9%)
    2) Omission of action / inappropriate action 116 (19.7%)
    3) Flight handling 76 (12.9%)
    4) Press-on-itis 46 (7.8%)
    5) Poor professional judgement / airmanship 22 (3.7%)
    6) Deliberate non-adherence to procedures 14 (2.7%)
    7) Design shortcomings 13 (2.2%)
    8) Windshear / upset / turbulence / gusts 12 (2.0%)
    9) Maintenance or repair oversight / error / inadequate 10 (1.7%)
    10) System failure - affecting controllability 10 (1.7%)
    These most frequently identified primary causal factors account for 75% of the 589 fatal
    accidents. The first six primary causal factors were from the crew causal group,
    accounting for 67% of the 589 fatal accidents.

    (Lifted from http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP681.PDF)

    In a previous post from post from Chris Anderson:

    UAV report: Tel Aviv

    After talking with an operational squadron he mentions that
    "piloting skills, which were once prized, are now discouraged.".

    I have heard that in this attitude is extends to the commercial pilot also.
    In aptitude testing for commercial airlines it is alleged that there is a fatal question
    which goes something like

    "do you enjoy flying?"

    No is counterintuitivly the correct answer to this question.
    90% of you average flight is already done by UAV systems.

    Last point on the micro uavs.
    When the CAA is assessing risk for uavs how much energy it has when it his the ground is a key factor.
    And you cant beat the micro uavs for that.

    Plus if you qualify for certain exemptions if you are using the systems to aid public safety.

    Hope this is of some help,

    Cheers, Mike
  • No life support system, less gas, doesn't require an airport, doesn't need a pilot's license, can fly in urban areas.
  • 3D Robotics
    The usual case for UAVs in general is that they're best for jobs that are "dirty, dangerous or boring".

    They're not necessarily cheaper than manned aircraft, however, at least not in the short term. Nor are they necessarily better, given limited field of vision.

    The case for small UAVs, meanwhile, is "low cost access to the sky" -- rapid aerial vews, launch anywhere, no danger to people on the ground.

    I'm afraid I haven't heard the story you mentioned, so can't help with a link.
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