UAV SAFETY

Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT -

A UAV can weigh any­thing from 20kg up to 150kg. That’s enough to kill a per­son or cause se­ri­ous dam­age to prop­erty if it falls out of the sky. The South African Civil Avi­a­tion Author­ity (SACAA) has an­nounced stri ngent safety con­trols for op­er­a­tors of UAVs. A li­cens­ing process will en­sure that only qual­i­fied op­er­a­tors may use drones com­mer­cially.

“Our big­gest con­cern has al­ways been the safety as­pect of fly­ing any­thing by any­one who is not a com­mer­cial pi­lot, or a pri­vate pi­lot – or, if not, then some­one who at least has their na­tional pi­lot li­cence,” says Shaya E-Se­cu­rity’s Ian Me­lamed, whose com­pany has re­cently bought a flight school. The school has al­ready started train­ing pi­lots for their Re­mote Pi­lot Li­cense, which re­quires all the the­ory train­ing of a manned air­craft pi­lot li­cence. mon­i­tor­ing. “We have cam­era sys­tems, and there is no dif­fer­ence be­tween a drone’s cam­era and a fixed closed-cir­cuit tele­vi­sion cam­era. The ba­sic process is that you have cam­era feeds that are taken up via a Wi-Fi sys­tem and which then go into a satel­lite up­link sta­tion. From the satel­lite up­link sta­tion, a per­son can re­view the vi­su­als from wher­ever they want to, across the world. This re­mote mon­i­tor­ing means peo­ple can see what’s go­ing on any time of day re­gard­less of where they are,” Me­lamed says.

“But it is not just an ‘eye in the sky’,” says Me­lamed, “it is the abil­ity of the ‘eye in the sky’ to com­mu­ni­cate with the re­ac­tion force down on the ground, to pin­point the iden­ti­fied area”.

In his pa­per en­ti­tled The Rhino Poach­ing Cri­sis: A Mar­ket Anal­y­sis, SasRolfes writes: “Poach­ers and smug­glers tend to have short time hori­zons, so they will typ­i­cally fo­cus on po­ten­tial im­me­di­ate in­come, but greatly dis­count the pos­si­bil­ity of get­ting caught and in­cur­ring a penalty some­time in the fu­ture. It thus turns out that a high prob­a­bil­ity of de­tect­ing and in­ter­cept­ing poach­ers be­fore they man­age to reach and kill a rhino is the cost fac­tor most likely to change the per­cep­tion of ex­pected profit.

“If this prob­a­bil­ity is suf­fi­ciently low, even very se­vere penal­ties (in­clud­ing death) may be i nsuff icient to de­ter poach­ers. Again, sim­i­lar prin­ci­ples ap­ply to smug­glers and traders along the il­le­gal sup­ply chain. If the cu­mu­la­tive prob­a­bil­ity of be­ing de­tected, ar­rested, con­victed and pun­ished is per­ceived to be low, even po­ten­tially harsh sen­tences will be disregarded. And ex­pe­ri­ence from the rhino horn and many other il­le­gal mar­kets shows that the ul­ti­mate prob­a­bil­ity of pun­ish­ment is in­deed typ­i­cally very low.”

Says Me­lamed: “Whether we like it or not, th­ese peo­ple ac­quire the lat­est and great­est tech­nol­ogy at a rapid rate.” He says what is cru­cial is to un­der­stand the lat­est tech­nolo­gies be­ing used by t hese crim­i­nals so t hat ap­pro­pri­ate coun­ter­mea­sures can be em­ployed.

“What we learned with Hluh­luweIm­folozi Park is that what is re­quired is

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