It seems that drones are limitless in their applications, from delivering goods to customers to helping police find missing persons, it seems that drones are just doing more and more things for people. Drones are helping to improve the quality of life for many people, whether they are delivering life-saving medications to isolated patients, or monitoring areas to ensure that they are secure.
Drones are small and agile, and can maneuver in areas that people would find it difficult, or impossible, to manage. In emergency situations, drones can be the difference between life and death. They are able to find out where fallen power lines are so that they can be fixed quickly; they can find missing or injured people after a natural disaster, helping emergency services aid more people in less time; they are even able to transport important items to those in need when roads are blocked or destroyed due to floods or fire.
As you’ve read in previous articles on this website, drones are even being used by police officers all over the world. From Los Angeles to Devon and Cornwall, officers in countries all over the world are using drones to help their units be more efficient and save manpower for instances that require it. Drones can be used to watch areas of interest for illegal activity, or record suspicious activity so that footage can be analyzed later on.
Most recently, the AT&T Cell On Wings (COW) drone is being used to help during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The hurricane brought down power and gas lines all over the region, leaving people isolated and without electricity for long periods of time. The AT&T COW drone is helping Puerto Ricans have access to mobile signals so that they can keep in touch with those that they care about.
One COW can provide mobile signal to an area of about 40 square miles, and it flies at 200 feet above ground. The drones are providing LTE coverage to residents in the area who have been affected by Hurricane Maria, allowing people to let their loved ones know how they are and keep updated as to what is happening around them.
The AT&T COW drone carries antennae and a small mobile, allowing the drone to broadcast the signal to a wide area. A tether keeps the drone connected to the drone, making for a secure connection and an unlimited power supply to keep the drone flying and giving residents the mobile signal that they need. The COW can do everything that a traditional mobile phone could do: it can send texts, calls, and internet data to recipients without issue. The design of this drone is phenomenal, and can even provide signal to people in areas that emergency services or road-clearing crews haven’t reached yet.
The drone is a Pulse Vapor 55, meaning that it is heavier than the FAA’s weight limit for drones. However, AT&T was able to obtain a certificate of authorization, allowing the drones to operate in these emergency conditions. While the region works on fixing the aftermath left behind by Hurricane Maria, the COW drones are helping make the process smoother, and adding just another service to the growing list of things that drones can do.