10 Ways Aerial Drones Can Be Used in the Philippines
Consumer-type aerial drones like the Parrot AR and DJI Phantom are rapidly becoming popular around the world because of their capabilities. Not only they can be used for entertainment but they can be used for other valuable purposes as well.
Here are 10 ways aerial drones can be used in the Philippines.
Image: Project Kwago
1. Traffic monitoring and response
Today’s traffic monitor are mostly done on the ground or with the use of CCTVs. Although it gives us valuable information on what’s happening in a closer point-of-view, it’s a bit limited when it comes to providing us with a “bigger picture”. Drones are effective tools if you want a bird’s-eye view of roads in the Metro. And since they’re unmanned, they are safer and less costly compared to using a helicopter. Traffic enforcers on the ground can use this information to enhance traffic management in areas. Command centers can also use drones to find alternate routes in case primary roads are not passable either due to an accident or flooding.
In addition to monitoring, road enforcers can also utilize drones in the event of emergency situations. Since drones can be deployed quickly, ground response teams can get an idea of what’s happening even before they get there.
2. Security and Law enforcement
Drones became a popular topic because of its military applications especially in times of war. Commercial drones, on the other hand, are obviously not built for that kind of purpose. Still, it is possible for our law enforcement agencies to utilize these small unmanned aerial vehicles to further extend the long arm of the law. Police detachments or barangays can use drones (if budget is not a problem) to survey their respective areas for criminal activities and for tracking criminals. This makes UAVs a useful deterrent as well.
3. Disaster preparation / Search and Rescue
Image: Screencap from YouTube: Project Kwago
Search and rescue are one of the biggest reasons why we need an eye in the sky. Post-disaster surveillance of affected areas can help the government in assessing the situation so that they can send proper and timely assistance. This is also helpful in areas where flooding is imminent or affected by an earthquake. Firefighters can also take advantage of drones to help them monitor the fire-affected areas to make them more effective in containing and putting it out. Drones can also be used to deliver immediate medical supplies if sending by land is not possible. One good example of a drone for search and rescue is Project Kwago.
Farmers can utilize a drone to do a quick surveillance of their farms and assess its surroundings. This can drastically save time as they do not need to go on foot or vehicle. The drone may be custom equipped with sensors to monitor weather, temperature, and the health of the crops. Future drones may also be tasked to do some crop dusting or aerial topdressing.
5. Weather monitoring
Since the Philippines is prone to tropical storms, drones can be used to aid weather monitoring. Like drones in agriculture, it can be equipped with special sensors that can help our meteorologists make better weather predictions. However, these kinds of drones should be equipped with sophisticated tech and do not come cheap. One example is NASA’s Global Hawk which is designed for storm monitoring and can fly at an altitude of 55,000 feet.
6. Mapping and exploration
Image by SenseFly
Need to survey an area for mapping and exploration purposes? Drones are perfect candidates as they are small, mobile, and cheap to use. Those who are working on road construction, land development, topography, and forestry conservation can greatly benefit from drones, giving them a quick eye in the sky at a moments notice. In addition, areas that are not yet explored or are proven to be dangerous to be explored on foot can be done by drones.
Image: Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, Google Maps
Drones also have a place in engineering. Civil engineers can utilize drones to survey the area they are working on. High-resolution aerial images are beneficial when it comes to site design and monitoring construction progress. Drones can also help them survey a damaged building or a structure which in turn can improve safety, reduce cost, and enhance decision making.
8. Sports and Entertainment
Photo by Ookpik
Thanks to drones, it’s now easier to produce aerial footage of sports and entertainment events. A drone can simply fly over a field unnoticed by players and it will transmit information that can be beneficial for the team’s performance. Extreme sports can now be captured and recorded in angles and locations that are previously difficult or dangerous to do. Concerts and other big events can be recorded from above without the need for heavy equipment. Hollywood is also utilizing drones nowadays for shooting films, helping them cut costs in production.
Everything looks different from above. If you’re in a place like the Philippines where there are hundreds of tourist destinations, drones prove to be very effective in capturing their beauty which in turn can be used to promote tourism in the country.
Drones have been used in journalism in the country for quite a while now. Drones helped journalist cover the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, the anti-pork rally in Luneta, Black Nazarene procession, and everyday traffic in the Metro. We expect more news outlets in the country to take advantage of drones as it will help them quickly deliver footage that is difficult to do on foot.