UAVs over Haiti

There are some who hyperventilate whenever the employment of UAVs is mentioned, imagining them to be nothing more than platforms for the trigger-happy to launch missiles at Afghan wedding parties.  Thus when unmanned aerial systems come to our shores or get sent to an area where kinetics do not seem to be required, the hand-waving ratchets up.   This, however, is the kind of capability they can bring to humanitarian efforts:  Examining the urban infrastructure and identifying passable and unpassable roads—somewhat necessary if you hope to use those roads to reach the injured and needy.

This image from an RQ-4 Global Hawk shows passable and obstructed roads in Haiti. This photo demonstrates the assistance Global Hawk is providing to relief and rescue organizations in Haiti. The image taken by a Global Hawk from Beale Air Force Base, Calif., and analysts from the 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing's 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group at Beale AFB provided assessments of the image to assist in all aspects of recovery and relief. The 480th ISR Wing is a subordinate unit of the Air Force ISR Agency, which has its headquarters at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

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