New drone camera system developed to help search inside buildings

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A new camera system that aids in the search and rescue of people trapped inside buildings by allowing operators to see inside high rise buildings has been revealed.

The new WideSee system was developed in collaboration between engineers at the University of Leeds, University of Massachusetts and Northwest University in Xi’an China.

WideSee has been designed for use by emergency workers to aid in the rescue of those trapped inside high rise buildings.

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Researchers say that the prototype device is capable of scanning deep into a building by using long-range radio waves, which can penetrate concrete walls.

Dr Zheng Wang, of the Leeds School of Computing, said of the project: “There are limitations to the existing equipment that rescue workers can use when they are conducting search and rescue operations.

“Heat seeking cameras can identify the heat being radiated from a human body but in a blaze there is a high chance the cameras would be incapable of picking out the heat being generated by someone trapped in the building because of the more intense heat being given off by the fire.”

The system uses an adapted LoRa radio like a radar by sending signals from the drone into the building before being picked up by a receiver on the drone allowing them to see, as a statement describes, the ‘signature’ of objects inside buildings.

WideSee was tested on an empty building in China, where it was successfully able to identify a small group of people on the ninth floor.

Professor Xiaojiang Chen of Northwest University in China, said: “Our findings showed that when the volunteers were walking or waving and the flying speed of the drone was reduced to 1 or 1.5 metres per second, there was at least a 96% chance of being detected.

“If people were lying still, the system did not pick them up and the aim is for further research into the detection of non-moving targets.”

Tags : cameraSearch and RescueUniversity of Leeds
Matthew Trask

The author Matthew Trask

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