From search-and-rescue missions to accidental discoveries of fossils and crimes, drones have been behind some fascinating discoveries.
Kivas, New Mexico Desert
Beneath the barren New Mexican desert, there are remnants of an ancient Pueblo society that thrived some 1,000 years ago. John Kantner, an archaeologist from the University of North Florida, has surveyed the red sands for 20 years in search of ancient religious structures called kivas.
Kantner had uncovered some kivas during his two decades in the desert, but searching for the subterranean structures on foot was difficult and time-consuming. He, like many other archaeologists, decided to use technology that is revolutionizing his field: drones.
He used drone surveillance along with thermal imaging to key in on subtle temperature differences while the structure heats and cools. The team flew its eight-rotor drone multiple times before dawn when the desert was at its coolest.
Drones may also offer new research opportunities when coupled with laser imaging systems like LiDAR, which creates high-resolution maps and can reveal hidden structures that are otherwise impossible to detect.
Source: CBS NEWS
Marijuana Farms, Italy
An unmanned drone analysing earthquake damage in countryside near the city of Ravenna, northeast Italy, made an unexpected discovery — a marijuana plantation hidden in some bushes.
Police said they had also found “an accurate system” for irrigation and illumination and seized a total of 182 plants.
The remote-controlled drone was intended “to verify the stability of buildings damaged by the earthquake” in May 2012.
Mistery 6ft crocodrile, Crete
Water from the in-land lake and surrounding rivers used by residents of the nearby seaside town of Rethymno reported sightings of the dangerous reptile left them too scared to go near the area.
Video footage captured by an unmanned drone flown over the lake appeared to show the large crocodile floating on the surface, before diving down out of sight with a flick of its tail.
Source: INDEPENDENT NEWS
Missing 82 years old man, USA
After a three day search with a helicopter, search dogs and hundreds of volunteers, Lesh, the drone owner, sent up his drone to look at a 200-acre bean field, from about 200 feet in the air. In just 20 minutes drone owner had combed through most of the field.
The 82-year-old thought he had been out for a short walk and didn’t understand why people would be looking for him.
Source: NBC 15