Researching about drones and their use in life-saving

Northumberland National Park
Northumberland National Park

Search and Rescue (SAR) experts, Pete Roberts and Carl Hamilton, have been speaking at Iceland’s bi-annual SAR conference about how drone technology is helping the search for missing people.

Exercise Northumberland, undertaken in 2017, set out how to measure the search performance of air and ground assets in search and rescue operations.

The project was featured on BBC’s Countryfile and carried out by The Centre for Search Research (CSR), in partnership with the Northumberland National Park Authority and Newcastle University.

Exercise Northumberland saw ground and air assets working together to find randomly-distributed targets over the 2km search area. Air assets including fixed and rotary-wing aircrafts and drones took part in the exercise; while trained searchers from Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team (NNPMRT) and their air-scenting dog searched the area on foot.

Mr Roberts, co-founder of CSR and member of NNPMRT, said: “We are looking at new technologies and how, through a better understanding of their operational application, they can be used to help in the search for a missing person.

“The research is ground-breaking in its scope and originality – the collaboration of the various agencies who have participated in and observed the experiment is unique.”