The drone army is ready to respond to whatever disaster hits – and they’ve stepped up to do what they can to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. In an email today, Airborne International Response Team (AIRT) Executive Director Christopher Todd described the actions that AIRT and it’s public services division, DRONERESPONDERS are taking to respond to the Presidential Declaration of a National Emergency issued on Friday, March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This weekend, the team compiled drone video shot at their home base in South Florida to produce “Flatten the Curve” – a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to “increase community awareness of the need to maintain social distancing in an effort to “flatten the curve” and help save lives surrounding COVID-19 penetration within the U.S. population,” writes Todd.
In addition to the public safety announcement video, AIRT and DRONERESPONDERS is forming a task force to be ready to respond using drones when and if they are called to do so.
DRONERESPONDERS COVID-19 TASK FORCE: A task force of public safety UAS leaders led by Charles Werner, Director of DRONERESPONDERS, is assembling to address potential use cases and mission planning needs for drone operations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. This task force will liaison with our organizational partners from the commercial sector, government officials, and other stakeholders to expedite the delivery of UAS technology and related solutions capable of assisting with the coronavirus response effort. For more information the DRONERESPONDERS COVID-19 Task Force, please contact: [email protected]droneresponders.org.
AIRT is also stepping up to ensure that the drone army is ready to address future pandemics, by tracking drone use cases in the emergency. We’ve seen drones equipped with loudspeakers used for public service announcements; modified crop spraying drones used for disinfecting large areas; and drones equipped with thermal cameras used to detect fevers; and delivery drones used to bring supplies to quarantined patients. As the crisis continues, more uses for drones may become apparent.
PANDEMIC USE CASE TRACKING: AIRT is in the process of launching a research program to help identify and track operational use cases related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is being designed to document and archive drone use cases related to the coronavirus outbreak to help combat future pandemics around the globe. Additional information about this project will be communicated within the next week.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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Tags: AIRTcoronavirusCOVID-19COVID-19 task forceDrone ArmyDRONERESPONDERSDrones For GoodFlatten the Curvesocial distancing