Seen & Heard: UAVs to the rescue, fire strikes in Chile - GPS World

Seen & Heard: UAVs to the rescue, fire strikes in Chile

March 29, 2024  - By

“Seen & Heard” is a monthly feature of GPS World magazine, traveling the world to capture interesting and unusual news stories involving the GNSS/PNT industry.


Photo: ChristinaFelsing / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Photo: ChristinaFelsing / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

UAVs to the rescue

A child reported missing in Robbinsville, N.J., was found in less than 10 minutes using a UAV equipped with a thermal camera, WPVI reported.

On the night of January 17, Robbinsville Police received a call reporting a missing child last seen running into a heavily wooded area. Officers dispatched the department’s UAV equipped with thermal imaging cameras, which allowed officers to quickly locate the missing boy through thick vegetation after dark. The child was unharmed, according to the report.


Photo: Maxar Technologies

Photo: Maxar Technologies

Fire strikes Chile

Maxar Technologies has released satellite images showing the widespread damage caused by raging wildfires in Chile’s Valparaíso region. The fires have killed more than 122 people. The images show entire neighborhoods destroyed east of the resort town of Viña del Mar yet do not show active wildfires. The fires reportedly surged in the Valparaíso region, fueled by winds and an intense heatwave that has seen temperatures of around 40° C.


Photo: seregalsv / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Photo: seregalsv / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

No drones in the prison yard

The UK government has introduced regulations establishing a 400 m UAV “no-fly zone” around prison facilities. The announcement addresses the escalating use of UAVs by criminals attempting to transport illicit items — including phones, drugs and weapons — into prisons.

The initiative is a response to the increase in the number of UAVs detected or sighted within prison grounds, which more than doubled between 2019 and 2021, according to a press statement from the UK government. The implementation of “no-fly zones” aims to enhance law enforcement’s ability to catch organized criminals in the act. Additionally, these measures are designed to prevent illegal aerial filming of prisons.


Photo: Bim / E+ / Getty Images

Photo: Bim / E+ / Getty Images

Back to the fields

GNSS jamming by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has forced retired farmers in the Israeli settlement Mevo Hama to return to the fields. In an interview with CTech, local farmer Rami Laner shared that the younger equipment operators do not know how to operate the modern tractors for spraying or sowing tasks without the aid of their GNSS-based autonomous systems. With the IDF intentionally jamming and spoofing GNSS signals, civilians in the area are in search of alternative PNT systems to protect communities and maintain workflows.

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