A stranded veteran and his dog were rescued from Hurricane Matthew flooding in North Carolina with the help of a drone and social media.

Craig Williams of Austin, Texas, was concerned for his brother Chris Williams, who was stranded on the second floor of his home because of flooding in Hopes Mills, North Carolina.

Chris Williams, a Navy veteran, was with his dog, Lana, who did not know how to swim. He began calling for help, only to find that emergency services were down in the area.

When Chris Williams was unable to find help, he contacted his brother hoping he would have more luck.

Craig Williams began searching Twitter to find information on when the flood waters might subside. To make light of the situation, Craig Williams sent a photo to his brother showing homes submerged in water.

“I saw this incredibly devastated neighborhood, where you couldn’t see anything, just the rooftops,” Craig Williams told ABC News. “Then I sent it to him as a joke and was like, ‘Well, at least it’s not as bad as this.’ And he said, ‘That’s my house.'”

Craig Williams immediately contacted the photographer, Quavas Hart, to find help for his brother. Hart was able to alert a nearby Federal Emergency Management Agency rescue crew to save Chris Williams and Lana.

“You see a lot of negative things and you hear a lot of awful stuff, but the reality is there are a lot of good people in this world and if you just ask, they will do the right thing,” Chris Williams said. “This is one of those moments when humanity came together.”

Story from: http://abc11.com/weather/drone-and-social-media-help-rescuers-save-veteran-in-hurricane-matthew-flooding/1550476/


Drones and Augmented Reality -Powerful Tools when Disaster Strikes

In 2015, flooding in the United States caused $3 billion in damage and led to hundreds of deaths (US National Climatic Data Center). During a natural disaster, every tool is needed to reduce suffering and save lives. Rapid Imaging Software, Inc. recently demonstrated that video captured with a small drone equipped with Powered by SmartCam3D, augmented reality software can have a big impact on disaster relief.

Powered by SmartCam3D adds augmented reality (AR) overlays to live or recorded video, making it useful before, during and after a natural disaster. The flight was conducted by Bird’s Eye Solutions using a DJI Phantom 3 at Steuben Wisconsin on the Kickapoo River during a flood on September 24, 2016.

Augmented reality (AR) has become a household phrase due to mobile apps and games. In this application, augmented reality blends map data and other useful information onto video captured from a drone. The video may be viewed by the drone/camera operator.  However if drone video is distributed via a network, then everyone involved in relief operations can watch the video in real time.  The advantage is that augmented reality allows all users to see and agree on what is (or is not) in the video.  AR overlays assist the viewer to answer questions such as: Where am I looking?  What am I looking at?

In the critical moments after a disaster, the first concern is to save lives and assess the extent of the damage.  Equipped with a small drone and AR the pilot or camera operator can do the following:

·         Mark locations to search for survivors.

·         Scout the extent of the damage and send information about closed bridges and roads to the command center.

In the video link below, the bridge on Bridge Street is submerged, but the street name is shown as is the nearest intersection with AR overlays. Armed with this information, dispatchers can direct rescue teams via the best route. In addition, since the street is identified in the video there is no confusion about which bridge is in the view.  Emergency services can be routed efficiently and the public can be warned away from the area.

As the disaster recedes and it is time to restore services augmented reality can assist in the following ways.

·         Show locations of storm drains to be checked for debris.

·         Show Identifiers for power line poles. Poles will show in the correct location whether or they are still standing.

·         Locations of fire hydrants, gas main valves and more may show as overlays.

If drone video is recorded, it provides information for engineers, communities and city managers as they plan and prepare for future disasters. For example both ends of the bridge are marked in the video to show the extent of flooding, important information when the bridge is repaired or rebuilt.

Mike Abernathy, Founder and Director of Technology for Rapid Imaging Software notes, “I have been refining augmented technology for 23 years for a variety of uses. AR for disaster relief is an important tool and I believe it will save thousands of lives in the next decade.”

Powered by SmartCam3D augmented reality software is used with a variety of unmanned systems from: DJI drones through tactical unmanned aircraft systems.  This patented technology is cloud based and compatible with a variety of operating systems and devices.



Article from: http://www.suasnews.com/2016/10/drones-augmented-reality-powerful-tools-disaster-strikes/



Drones set to give global farming a makeover

Those in the agricultural industry know how important early detection of issues with your crops is to ensuring a healthy and profitable harvest. Contact us to learn more about how our drone packages can help you monitor your crops to solve problems before they cost you money!


Agricultural drone technology

Drought analysis for farmers using drone technology

An unusually dry summer with drought-like conditions is making headlines across the East Coast and Midwest, and has farmers wondering what they can do now to prevent huge losses at harvest time.

While traditional methods of analyzing crop health like walking a field and manually inspecting plants can burn time and money, Detailed Aerial Solutions offers a simpler and much more accurate method: using drone technology.

“Drone imagery can create a mosaic map of farm fields to analyze drought stress conditions,” said John Ruggles, Director of Business Development at Detailed Aerial Solutions.

Those maps paired with tissue and soil samples can create a “prescription” that helps farmers care for the crops with greater precision, lessening lost time and lost product.
Even if drought conditions subside, excessive early dryness can lead to smaller fruit and lower yields; if a farmer can identify trouble areas down to precise field sections, it can have a significant economic benefits.

“Think about walking a field and collecting data by hand,” Ruggles said. “Compare that to flying a drone over an area; within a short amount of time, aerial imaging can be coupled with software that analyzes multiple conditions including crop stress and soil moisture.”

Knowing where to focus salvaging efforts like irrigation based on highly precise mapping and analysis of samples and conditions eliminates large amounts of wasted resources and saves money and time in the long run.

“Obtaining a bird’s-eye snapshot, coupled with advanced data analysis can nip big farming losses in the bud, even when Mother Nature isn’t cooperating,” Ruggles said.


Drone surveys a good fit for cotton growers

Agricultural drone surveys like those provided by Diverse Flight Solutions have been embraced by broadacre growers because of the massive advantages of aerial crop scouting over ground-based crop scouting in large fields like cotton. But are they really effective?

Although we see results for ourselves in the outcomes of surveys we perform for our customers, we also look to external research to validate what we’re seeing.

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