Drone Use in Disaster Response Tested in Tokyo High-Rise District (News)


Tokyo, Feb. 11 (Jiji Press)—An experiment was conducted in central Tokyo Saturday to see if drones can efficiently gather information and provide evacuation instructions for people faced with difficulties in going home in times of major disaster.

A drone in flight in Shinjuku Central Park, near the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, on February 11, 2017. (© Jiji)

Shinjuku municipality officials and drone experts flew a drone in a high-rise district west of Shinjuku Station after establishing an exclusive radio communications network between Shinjuku Central Park and Kōgakuin University. The park is designated as the evacuation site in the West Shinjuku district with many skyscrapers and the university as the disaster response headquarters in the district.

In the test, the team monitored effects of the wind peculiar to the high-rise area and electromagnetic waves on the drone's flight and checked the transmission of image data from the unmanned aircraft.

Also examined were clearness of the sound of a speaker mounted on the drone to vocally guide people to the evacuation site and its self-flying function using the Global Positioning System.

Some 3.5 million passengers use Shinjuku Station each day. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government estimates about 370,000 people will get stuck around the station if a massive earthquake hits the capital during the daytime on a weekday and cripples public transportation systems.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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