Philippines mobile operator Smart Communications and Nokia announced that they have received funding from the GSMA Disaster Response Innovation Fund for a disaster response drone system.
The Nokia Saving Lives drone project, which will operate on Smart’s frequencies during emergencies, seeks to provide communications technology and technical assistance to emergency response teams. Smart will provide high-speed connectivity for a drone-based system to help boost disaster response efforts of the Philippine Red Cross.
The system consists of drones, a portable data center, Smart’s LTE network, and applications like video streaming, gas sensing, mapping, and analytics, which can help Red Cross responders assess current status of lifelines and analyze immediate needs and gaps. This will enable Red Cross to provide emergency assistance to communities in more timely, effective and efficient ways, Smart says.
The drone can be equipped with different types of cameras, sensors and speakers, and can also be used to carry first aid kits. The portable data center, meanwhile, is a computing and storage unit that can be used for immediate data analysis.
The initiative was presented ths week to delegates of the GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter (HCC) Regional Workshop for Asia-Pacific during a visit to the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation Emergency Operations Center.
Smart is one of the three founding signatories of the GSMA HCC, which aims to provide increased access to communication and information for those affected by calamities, helping reduce loss of lives and contribute to humanitarian response. It supports efforts by network operators and industry partners to formalize their commitments to enhance their capacity to mitigate, prepare for, and respond to disasters, using mobile technology.
Since its launch in 2015, HCC has grown to include over 147 mobile operator members and six humanitarian partners in more than 106 countries.