At the request of the State DGP, the scientists deployed drones, to help guide rescuers. Three teams, led by Dr K Senthil Kumar, Associate Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering, MIT, reached Kolukkumalai in the wee hours of Monday and launched three types of drones.
helicopters have already been deployed to trace missing people, so the drone exercise was to aid the rescue teams. The wind direction and intensity kept fluctuating, and the safety of the rescuers was paramount. Aerial surveillance provided the required support for the rescuers.
Some trekkers went missing in the forest, causing a moment of panic. However, all trekkers were located and identified, that too without the use of thermal cameras. that the drones are capable of covering a 5-km radius, reaching places which were difficult earlier. The drones were accurate in finding victims, including the ones who fell into a deep gorge while trying to flee
By the experience gained from the Theni forest fire disaster deployment. The team Dhaksha developed an unmanned helicopter for forest fire fighting UAV Dh-HE-01. This particular UAV is customized to carry the fire extinguisher ball and dropping mechanism. in addition to that the system have on board thermal camera to geotags the high intensity fire location for the betterment of forest fire disaster management.