The World Bank has announced an opportunity to take part in a research scheme regarding the viability of UAS technology in disaster relief. This EOI has been officially titled:
“UAV4Resilience – A Comparative Assessment of UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) Platforms’ Fitness for Use in Small Island States
The ‘UAV4Resilience’ project has been launched to investigate the usage of drones and their compatible sensors for the collection of data, information processing and scenario modelling for Disaster Risk Management.
Having consulted with stakeholders in the area, the demand for raw data and information have been identified and prioritised. This project has the potential to improve both ex-ante risk assessments and ex-post rapid disaster impact assessments.
The countries currently slated for usage in this scheme are Tonga and Fiji.
‘UAV4Resilience’ is undertaking field testing using a wide range of UAV platforms (e.g. multi-rotors, fixed wing and long range, high payload UAVs). Both the aircraft and the sensors were made available for testing by successful applicants.
The activities to be carried out include consultation and identification of data collection priorities in the region, field tests and investigation, collating an evaluation document and the production of written materials which detail best practice for using drones for Disaster Risk Management to be sent out to the World Bank’s core audience as well as the end users who will benefit from the 'UAV4Resilience' project.
The following data is to be collected during the field tests:
- Point Cloud (using photogrammetric methods or LiDAR sensors)
The expertise required from applicant firms read as follows:
- UAV avionics
- Remote Sensing / Image Processing
- Knowledge of Geodetic processes
- Experience in developing regulatory frameworks for flying drones
When registering interest, they were instructed to provide an indication of the level of drone and sensor experience that can be made available for the ‘UAV4Resilience’ project in line with the above criteria.
Due to the fact that the tests are being carried out across a variety of drone platforms and sensors, applicants had to ensure that experts were on hand who have experience flying a range of platforms and generating comprehensive datasets so that the field testing is carried out to the highest possible standard.
Teams also include members with experience of regulatory and policy analysis on the subject of drone operation transferable to the countries where the tests will occur. They should be able to assess the modernization of geodetic networks in the region, identify and, if necessary, develop the procedures by which the acquired data will be used by local authorities and recommend effective strategies for the productive operation of unmanned aircraft in the Pacific region.
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