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Aurensis’ UAV Services surveyed wind storm damages in Catalonia

… (Feb, 2009. Spain) UAV services, workshop contributions…

On the 24th of January, 2009, a violent wind storm battered the North of Spain, with gusts of wind of over 120 km/h in some areas according to METEOCAT, the Catalan Metereological Service.

In particular, Catalonia had some regions severely affected, being the most dramatic incident in Sant Boi de Llobregat, where a sports centre collapsed killing four children.

The outcome of the storm left houses cut off with hundreds of fallen trees over roads and tracks, developments and quarters without electricity supply for weeks and several damages in personal properties.

In order to have a thorough report about storm damages and to have a full overview of the extent of the works to be carry out by local administrations, Aurensis was entrusted a study of the area with UAV Services.

Our UAV Services

Aurensis’ UAV Services are Earth Observation services carried out with small aircrafts flying without a pilot and operated via remote terrestrial control. These unmanned aerial vehicles obtain high-resolution images, video and thermal information and are especially devoted to survey emergencies such as fires and storm damages, locate people in areas with a difficult access, survey civil works and infrastructure and to make cartography of delimited areas.

The results are real-time information, as images of the area can be obtained while the aircraft is flying in order to evaluate the situation, as well as georeferenced data and georeferenced video can be delivered in very short time, and orthophotos and cartography in just a week.

In case of fires or situations where the temperature differential is a key factor, a thermal map can be obtained to locate burning points, different types of vegetal cover, illegal spills in coasts and rivers and self-combustion in rubbish dumps.

Results of UAV Services in Catalonia

The result of Aurensis’ flight over the area affected by the wind storm in Catalonia produced a high-resolution video and georeferenced photographies where the damage caused by the wind could be easily assessed: roads and tracks cut by fallen trees were identified, as well as the municipal and private properties, greenhouses, crops, etc., affected.

With just one click, the responsible of recovery programmes could locate exactly on a map the area where the photography or video was taken, having a full view from the air of the scope of the damage.

Later on, Aurensis was ordered a fast orthophoto to accurately measure the area so recovery programmes plans could be optimized.

Benefits of UAV Services

The simplicity of the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) imply that the aircrafts are undetected, are environmentally respectful, can be operated more frequently as they are easily launched, and can perform dangerous missions as they do not jeopardize the life of any pilot and, as a whole, are more economical than other traditional services.

Aurensis’ UAV Service is especially useful for managing emergencies in specific areas, as immediacy in these cases is a must. Photographies and video are taken while the flight is being carried out, with a full view of the area from the air. As well, orthophotos and cartography are obtained in very short time, with the exact location on a map of critical aspects to be surveyed.

Videos taken through UAV can also be reused for different purposes. In case of civil works for example, public administrations can advertise their civil work programmes with theses services.

About Aurensis

Aurensis, is a leading European company in the sector of New Technologies applied to Territory. Aurensis offers global solutions for fixed or mobile asset management: from digital cartography through satellite imagery, photogrammetric flights or UAV to the development of computerized solutions combining GIS, location and telecommunications services and the provision of satellite broadband telecommunication services.

Auresis, is part of the Telespazio Group, one of the world’s leading satellite operators. The group has more than 1,700 employees, sites in 25 countries, 4 spatial centres and a turnover of 394 mil € in 2007.

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