Following is a press release that we send out last week:
Recognising the potential of airborne platforms during disaster response Sentinel Air LLC and Disaster Tech Lab have entered into a partnership. UAV’s and other airborne platforms are currently all the rage in the disaster response world. While the most common use is for video recording and monitoring DTL (Disaster Tech Lab) saw the potential for an airborne wireless sensor platform. A device that mounted on a small plane, could be flown over a disaster zone to detect and geolocate signals emitted by mobile phones (WiFi and or cellular signals). These locations could indicate people trapped in rubble or in flooded houses. By providing this data in real-time to first responders such as fire brigades or ambulance services the time needed to locate victims will be drastically reduced. Another application would be to map which wireless communications networks are still up and running after a disaster. This is something which DTL has been doing since their response to superstorm Sandy in November 2012.
“It is important to find the right partner with the right capacity to work with” says Evert Bopp founder of DTL “we purposely avoided using the very popular quadcopters as used by lot of organisations. The legislation for these quadcopters hasn’t matured yet in during a lot of recent disasters responses their use has been banned. We also wanted a partner with actual aviation experience so that they could comfortably handle all FAA formalities. Sentinel Air was the perfect fit as they have both manned & unmanned aerial platforms and the company is run by a group of former military aviators.
While the two organisations plan to work together developing and testing airborne wireless sensor platforms they will also deploy together to disaster hit areas in the US. “Aerial video footage is of a huge benefit in our work, sometime areas aren’t accessible by vehicle, or the condition of roads into remote areas affected by disasters isn’t known. Having an eagle eye view in real-time will not only help us but as we plan to share the gathered data with other responding organisations it will help the overall response effort” says Bopp.
“Our team agreed to partner with Disaster Tech Labs as we see it as an opportunity to continue to give back to the community we have served for so long. We can assist in times of disaster, using the skills given to us by the Military. By teaming with DTL we can not only offer our HD Aerial Video and Radio Relay abilities but now by taking DTLs equipment airborne we can increase its range and then distribute that knowledge directly to first responders. The increased situational awareness offered by combination will increase efficiency and safety for first responders and in times of disaster will save lives.” Says Dean Attridge Sentinel Air’s co-owner.
About Disaster Tech Lab: DTL provides rapid response internet access and communication services in disaster zones. It was founded following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti by husband and wife team Evert & Kate Bopp. Since then the organization has worked in Haiti, multiple locations in the US as well as the Philippines. In addition to disaster response work DTL also develops new technologies for use in disaster response work. The organization is one of the leading ones in its field. In 2013 the founders received a certificate of recognition issued by FEMA during a ceremony in the White House. Founded in Ireland the organization is also registered in the USA as a non-profit.
About Sentinel Air: Formed in 2013 by retiring military aviators, Sentinel Air LLC is a commercial aerial support company; they offer services to Law Enforcement, Public Safety and Environmental Inspection. Experienced in both manned and unmanned aviation we elected to build a hybrid of those technologies.