China’s high-tech companies aid Henan flood rescues with drones and satellites
Published: Jul 22, 2021 11:50 AM
Wing Loong I-D drone displayed at the Airshow China 2018 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, November. Photo:VCG

Wing Loong I-D drone displayed at the Airshow China 2018 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, November. Photo:VCG

China's high-tech companies had deployed drones to assist with rescue work in Central China's Henan Province after regions of the province experienced unprecedented heavy rainfall flooding which has caused 33 deaths so far.  

Wing Loong UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) from China's communications operator China Mobile was used in rescue works for securing emergency telecom signal in Henan, the company told Global Times on Thursday.

Wing Loong UAV was deployed in Gongyi, one of seriously affected areas in Henan, on Wednesday, providing a stable communication signal with areas of over 50 square kilometers without pause in 24 hours.

Marine drones made by Yunzhou Tech in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, were also sighted assisting with rescue work. In total, 118 marine rescue drones were allocated by the company to support Henan rescue teams.

Huang Wenting, director of Yunzhou Tech's marketing department, told Global Times on Thursday that the company had also dispatched a batch of rescue drones and professional operators to Henan Province in order to assist local rescue work and provide training course for using recue drone.

The rescue drone can bear at most three adults and can take tasks at 800 meters at most of remote distance. The drones can operate in water and complete rescue missions with operators' remote control, said Huang. 

The offering of phone functionality by drones in disaster areas symbolizes the creativity and enforcement of China's tech workers, according to a note sent to the Global Times on Thursday by Hangkongwuyu, an aviation influencer.

Among the advantages of drones numerated by the influencer are the enabling of signals that can be directly used by normal phones and that are closer to the ground with a larger bandwidth, equivalent to 4G, the multi-functionality of drones that can be mounted with telecommunications equipment to act as base stations or be equipped with photographic equipment to be used for maritime rights safeguarding.

In addition, the manufacturing cost of Wing Loong 2 is tantamount to a Starlink satellite and several of them would be enough for a nationwide coverage. Adding to its high price-to-functionality ratio, the UAV features impressive flying speeds and long battery span.

Chinese drone maker DJI also told Global Times on Thursday that the company is organizing local drone operators and resources to support quarantine and disinfection works. The scale of drone operator team is being confirmed and the unmanned drones have become a vital force in rescue efforts. 

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation also announced on Thursday that their weather monitoring, communication and navigation satellites provided related information for local rescue works.

Global Times