Falco EVO demonstrates how drones can help manage emergencies

Rome   24 May 2019 18:30

  • Leonardo’s Falco EVO can play a vital role in emergency-response operations: The data it collects enables the timely and correctly-targeted use of other operational resources during a crisis
  • Leonardo demonstrated these capabilities during an exercise organized by SIAARTI (the Italian Society for Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Intensive Care) to evaluate how to best manage responses to emergencies in hard-to-reach areas

 

Leonardo's Falco EVO drone played a leading role in a large-scale emergency-response simulation that took place on Thursday, May 23rd in Lampedusa, Italy. The purpose of the simulation was to road-test a new model of cooperative crisis management involving military, civil and health facilities and the use of remotely-piloted air systems.

During the exercise, the Falco EVO demonstrated its efficacy in a civil role, helping to manage the response to emergencies. The simulation was part of a wider exercise organised by SIAARTI (the Italian Society for Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Intensive Care) and Italy’s CREM Academy (Critical Emergency Medicine). The scope of this wider study (19-24 May) is to evaluate how to best manage responses to emergencies in hard-to-reach areas.

During the simulation, which was designed to emulate a catastrophic event such as an earthquake, the Falco EVO was used to rapidly survey the affected area, acquire data via its on-board payloads and redistribute the information to control and emergency management centres. This kind of information gathering is essential when responding to emergencies and needs to be achievable even when areas are difficult to reach by more traditional methods. The data collected by the Falco EVO enables the timely and correctly-targeted use of other operational resources during emergency situations.

Leonardo’s Falco family of drones have already seen active service safeguarding civilians, such as throughout the United Nation’s MONUSCO mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Over the last five years, the UN has been using Falco to support the delivery of its humanitarian mandate and the drones have played a leading role in a number of rescues, such as reporting on a capsized boat in Lake Kivu near Goma.

The Falco EVO itself is currently being employed in a maritime surveillance role for the European Union, gathering information in Italian and Maltese civil airspace as part of the EU Frontex programme. One of the key roles of Frontex is to evaluate the use of drones in monitoring and controlling the EU’s external borders.

Leonardo has worked previously with SIAARTI to bring together relevant capabilities in the field of helicopters and their use in rescue missions. Leonardo’s helicopters are often used for rescues and damage assessment: the Company’s AW139 is operated by a number armed forces, government bodies and emergency services.