Drones: A Tool for Recovery Efforts, Research

Kasiya Lamberty, Staff Writer

Drones have become of more use to people in recent years. The invention of drones has opened the gateway of opportunity to better our lives and the environment around us. Some drones are being used for conservation purposes, such as monitoring endangered species, coral researching, and cracking down on poachers. Other drones are being used to aid in recovery efforts and to deliver much needed medical supplies to remote areas.

Conservation has faced many difficulties over the years, whether it’s warding off poachers that are trespassing on National Park territory, or monitoring endangered species and staying safe while doing so. According to The New York Times article “High Above, Drones Keep Watchful Eyes On Wildlife In Africa,” the areas experimenting with drone usage are South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and soon Botswana.

Conducting coral research has always been tedious considering some of the world’s centuries-old reefs haven’t even been discovered as of yet. Some of the past methods used for coral research were drawing, satellite imaging, and radar and sonar usage, which have usually led to inaccurate results. Unfortunately satellite imaging proved to be unsuccessful since wave movement caused distortion to the image. Then an optical software developed by Ved Chirayath called “fluid lensing” emerged. According to Stanford University’s news website, the lensing not only removes ripples from the surface of the water, but it also uses magnification to make the image clearer. The hope is to eventually be able to capture images of the effect of climate change on coral reefs.


Other drones are being used in recovery efforts after storms to assess damages caused to communities. This also helps deliver more relief efforts to places that were affected by a storm. According to USA Today, drones were also used by emergency-management officials after Hurricane Harvey to view damaged roads, bridges, and water-treatment plans. Aside from that, drones are also aiding in the delivery of much needed medical supplies to remote areas. A company called Zipline is being used to provide donated blood to places like Rwanda in Africa, which has helped saved the lives of many patients.         


Overall, drones are becoming a new tool for not only conducting research and monitoring wildlife, but recovery efforts as well. This will certainly bring forth a whole wave of advancements in the world around us for years to come.