Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Emergency Scenarios
In 2009, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake near American Samoa triggered tsunami waves measuring up to 46 feet that resulted in widespread destruction and 22 deaths. The earthquake and tsunami destroyed much of the island infrastructure. Many villages on the south shores were destroyed or severely damaged. Many residents fled to higher ground and were isolated without water and electricity. Roads in many parts of the island were damaged to the point that they were unusable in search efforts.
Because of high terrain and dense vegetation, it was difficult previously for rescue workers to reach isolated villages. With the damage to the islands infrastructure, it took an extremely long time for first responders to determine which areas need assistance the quickest. A recent analysis of the earthquake, and the events that transpired after, showed that using unmanned aircraft would provide the government with a faster assessment of the damage. Having a faster assessment of damage will allow government to allocate limited resources to the areas that need them the most.
The Governor of American Samoa has contacted you to assist in developing a plan to use unmanned aircraft to aid in search and rescue efforts in the event of another natural disaster. He has received a federal grant that would provide America Samoa with unmanned aircraft and requests that you provide a plan on the types of unmanned aircraft and sensors that could be used if another natural disaster occurs.
Create a plan using the following criteria for the utilization of unmanned aircraft in a similar natural disaster. Do not provide a search and rescue plan, but present different types of unmanned aircraft and sensor packages and how they could assist in assessing damage so emergency planners can develop a plan. Be sure to consider the terrain and types of data links required for each UAS. Most of American Samoa has rugged terrain that can reach over 3,000 feet, which may present issues for line-of-sight aircraft if not used correctly.CRITERIA:
Earthquake and tsunami equal to 2009
High cloud cover does not allow for satellite imagery
Pago Pago International Airport is unusable for takeoffs or landing until 18 hours after natural disaster occurs
When Pago Pago International Airport is open, there will be limited access to UAS operations due to relief flights
Six large fishing boats survived the earthquake and can be used for search and rescue
Telephone landlines and cell towers are unusable. First responders will be using radios with a 5 mile range
Navy ships with medical supplies, food, and water will arrive 96 hours after earthquake
Airspace is regulated by the FAA
Because of logistics, there will be a minimum 3 different UAS, maximum 5
Not “limited” on types of sensors
UAS crews have all necessary equipment and are self-sufficient
UAS and sensor package is in use today
The operational specifications of each type of unmanned aircraft that you select in included
The strengths and limitations of each aircraft and sensor as well as how using other types of aircraft and sensors will offset those limitations are included
Unmanned aircraft are not used to drop or deliver medical supplies, food, or water.