July 2012, Geneva, Switzerland - UNOSAT continues to pioneer the use of UAV’s by testing live video streaming at the Paleo Festival in Nyon, Switzerland. The first UAV mission was deployed in Haiti last February to analyse damages to assess building reconstruction. The UAV used in the test, also known as md4-200, is a product of Microdrones. This test is a prelude to deploying the drone in situations where real time monitoring of humanitarian crisis is required. UNOSAT operates both fixed-wind and quadrucopter UAV’s. The type of event chosen for the test is linked to UNOSAT current discussions with WHO concerning the potential benefits of using this type of monitoring for emergency preparedness and response at public mass gatherings.
The Paleo Music Festival is the largest outdoor music festival in Switzerland, which provided for an effective real-size scenario for the test. This UAV can hover over an area of interest for a maximum of 20 minutes and the key advantage is that it allows viewers to see real time imagery and video of a particular location. The imagery resolution from the on-board camera is up to 5 centimetres, which allows discerning a large range of details in the area of interest.
Because they fly at low altitude, UAVs like this one are able to capture still and live imagery even in areas with thick cloud coverage thus providing an inexpensive and efficient alternative to satellites as sources of high resolution material for analysis. The ability to film laterally and stream onto the internet means that UNOSAT analysts based in Geneva can better understand the conditions on the ground and as a result produce more reliable analysis, such as damage assessment during a natural disaster situation for example.
Some of the material captured during the test can be seen at this link: