Drone expert advocates technology to map COVID-19 ravaged areas

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Drone expert advocates for deployment of technology

THE deployment of drone technology has been advocated in the monitoring of enforcement and mapping of communities affected by the incidence of  COVID-19.

The Acting Director, Advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Laboratory (AUAVL), Mr. Chichebe Akachukwu, on Monday told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, explained that, “at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the AUAVL tasked itself with the development of remote assistance platform for conferencing and telemedicine.

“We came up with the development of Internet of Things based medical assistant information system, which gives displays of patient vital statistics.

“The AUAVL has experience to produce personal protective  equipment (PPE) in the form of face coverings and drones can be deployed to do incidence mapping of affected communities, monitor enforcement of controls.”

AUAVL is an activity centre of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) and the laboratory had the mandate to be creative and proffer innovative technological solutions for socio-economic transformation using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) capabilities.

Akachukwu further said that the laboratory was working on projects that engender transformation in the nation, even in the area of agriculture, where early detection and mitigation of pests, nutrient analysis could help farmers actualise improved yields and indirectly impact livelihood.

“Drone technology can mitigate disease infections, encourage smart farming where you will not be required to put in your physical strength.

“We have set our primary mandate to be agricultural drone development for assisting farmers in getting the necessary information to improve farm decision making and yield.

“The UAV is a dual purpose platform that can migrate from farmland mapping to general surveillance.”

“As such we have been working on how payloads can be used to obtain high fidelity images that our security agencies can subscribe to in their fight against insurgency and criminality,” he said.

Akachukwu added that UAVs could monitor critical asset to achieve national security, reduce corruption, improve in revenue generation, monitor coast line and offshore assets.

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