Drones in emergency and disaster response

  • May 2, 2019

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are becoming a vital tool in the arsenal of rescue services. Drones are used for survey and assessing the situation from the air by optical means and with special equipment. They find victims during search and rescue operations, deliver the necessary equipment to inaccessible areas, etc.

Drones were used to determine areas with the most intense combustion during the fire in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. Photo: DR/Ministère de l’Intérieur

The major limitation of UAV is that they cannot stay in the air for long, which results in a short flight range. The flight time of traditional multirotor drones is 20 to 35 min. This is reduced even more in winter as the batteries freeze.

Ukrainian Multirotor Technology (UMT) is a research and production company that develops and manufactures high-performance unmanned aerial vehicles. In particular, the company offers unmanned aerial vehicles with a long flight time to be used by rescue services: Cicada hybrid drone and Cobra tethered flying platform.

UAV Cicada with a hybrid engine and a generator offers continuous flight time (up to two and a half hours).

UAV Cicada is equipped with a combustion engine and an electric generator. Due to this feature, Cicada is able to stay in the air for up to two and a half hours, which is several times longer as compared to traditional electric drones powered by accumulator batteries.

The transmission range for video and control signals of up to 10 km allows using Cicada to effectively monitor and evaluate fire areas and to carry out search and rescue operations over large territories without the use of aviation.

The drone can transmit information online both to operators in the field and to the command center; thereby, this solution can be used to coordinate actions during emergencies.

Cicada can fly both in manual and automatic modes. In the automatic flight mode, the operator can focus on the main task without being distracted to fly the UAV.

Cicada in flight

In addition to usual day vision cameras, optional equipment like thermal cameras or combined modules can be installed on Cicada.

Cicada UAV equipped with a thermal camera is able to successfully detect combustion sources, including areas with thick smoke, and to detect underground peat fires.

When combined with the latest magnetic survey solutions, Cicada opens up new opportunities for rapid and effective exploration of wide areas for unexploded ordnance (UXO).

Another UMT product, Cobra tethered platform, receives power from the ground module via a cable. This keeps the unit in the air for hours on end.

As in the case of Cicada copter, various optical modules can be installed on the Cobra tethered platform. This allows prolonged monitoring throughout the fire-hazardous period, coordination of rescue teams, and optical surveillance during mass events or during field exercises.

Depending on weather conditions, a 36x optical zoom camera on board of the tethered copter allows you to see a person and their actions at a distance of up to 2 km; identify a vehicle at a distance of up to 4 km; visually detect smoke and potential fire within a radius of 7 km.

Cobra used as a retransmitter to provide a communication range for ground robots in urban areas

Other than as an observation station, Cobra UAV equipped with a signal retransmitter can be used for communications in emergency areas (especially during the disaster response actions). Moreover, this complex can significantly expand the control range of ground-based robotic systems.

Both Cobra and Cicada complexes are equipped with modern protected stations to perform tasks even in severe weather conditions.

Protected ground station for drone and onboard equipment control.

UMT Company is open to cooperation and offers customized solutions.


We are always glad to demonstrate personally and give details about our unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Please agree on your visit by e-mail or by one of the phone numbers given below so that we could give you maximum attention: