Facebook PixelUsing lidar equipped drones to find bodies carried away by floodwaters before they get to the ocean.
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Using lidar equipped drones to find bodies carried away by floodwaters before they get to the ocean.

Image credit: Photo by Pok Rie: https://www.pexels.com/photo/flooded-town-with-residential-buildings-and-trees-6471926/

Contrived _voice
Contrived _voice Apr 18, 2022
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Fitting drones with lidar technology to map out an entire area in search of dead bodies. Since they are dead you can't find them via thermal imaging or motion sensing. This is the only viable solution.
  • Provide families with a sense of closure
  • Aid in search and rescue by sorting out between the missing and dead and helping to find both.
  • If used successfully it could serve as a template for future emergencies due to hurricanes or tsunamis.
  • It's easy to imagine the frustration one must feel trudging for hours through water but being unable to find anyone.
How it works
I found this study from 2 years ago where they described how lidar technology could be used to map out areas likely to flood through DEM mapping . The study cited how global warming would cause flooding and was aimed at preventive measures. Well, the inevitable happened and last I watched the news there were at least 400 deaths in South Africa due to flooding.
Manually searching for bodies through floodwater is hard, not even factoring in the emotional toll it must demand.
My plan is to fit a fleet of drones with an airborne lidar sensor as well as classic video and thermal imaging systems. This allows for scanning both on the surface as well as underwater for people and bodies. The data could then be used to coordinate search and rescue teams saving them a lot of energy and emotional fatigue.
Since the technology exists, wouldn't it be immoral to not apply it to ease human suffering?


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General comments

Goran Radanovic
Goran Radanovic2 years ago
It's a great idea. I can see it being used for several things. Homeless shelters could use it to locate sleeping homeless people so they can fetch them and provide them a shelter.
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Contrived _voice
Contrived _voice2 years ago
Goran Radanovic Yeah, it has tonnes of applications but it'll take some time for it to reach the same level of public awareness as RADAR. High altitude search and rescue teams are developing a system to marry it with thermal imaging to find people buried in avalanches, which I think is pretty cool too. Apple is also fitting its new phones with lidar sensors and I think if everyone had that technology in their hands, it could be possible to make some really useful applications in the near future.
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