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