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Problem: Following the devastation of Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, the United National World Bank and the Vanuatu government required rapid damage assessments of the country’s infrastructure, without putting further strain on the limited ground and aviation assets available to the response effort.

Requirements: The United National World Bank and Vanuatu government required a system that:

  • Could quickly deploy in challenging terrain
  • Remained stable in weather conditions including wind and rain

Solution: The Heliwest Group deployed the Indago quadrotor unmanned aerial system (UAS) to survey 50 sites across nine remote islands. The team conducted 126 separate missions over 12 days to capture oblique imagery, video, and ortho-mapping. The Indago’s flexibility and small logistics footprint allowed Heliwest to deploy a full system while remaining mobile on police patrol boats, zodiacs, quadbikes, cars, and regional flights and light helicopters.

Indago provided the capability of several different systems in one package: the team fielded a mapping capability, stable high resolution video, and oblique imaging. The UAS was able to operate in extreme weather conditions, even when other aircraft were grounded.