Japan’s Evening Hawks Search and Rescue by Drone

Japan’s Night Hawks search and rescue service are a drone team using infrared technology to perform missions at night.

The Night Hawks search and rescue team has signed an agreement with Nishikawa Town, Yamagata Prefecture Agreement to begin night-time, drone enabled search and rescue services for the town from May through November.

This article published in collaboration with JUIDA, the Japan UAS Industrial Development Association.

The team demonstrated their solution to town managers and first responders in April. The Night Hawks use drone equipped with infrared photography equipment to assist in search and rescue.

Nishikawa Town spreads out at the foot of Mt. Gassan, one of the 100 famous mountains in Japan. Mt. Gassan is covered in forest, and is a major tourist attraction because of its magnificent scenery – and as a source of rare mountain vegetables and mushrooms. From spring to autumn, both locals and tourists flock to the mountain for foraging, hiking, and other alpine sports.

During Japan’s storm season, however, or during the winter when the mountain experiences heavy snow, some climbers do get stranded.

“We want to create an environment where as many townspeople and tourists as possible can enjoy with peace of mind by preparing for accidents and injuries before the [typhoon] season,” said city officials.

The Night Hawks search and rescue team will provide a 24-hour service desk to respond to emergency requests by dispatching a fully equipped drone and pilot to coordinate with first responders. The drone pilot will support first responders with infrared imaging and by providing drone lighting to help with rescue efforts.

“[The Night Hawks] will increase the number of lives that can be saved by one person – the purpose is to ensure the safety of people,” says the company director.

Read more about drones for search and rescue:

Since 2014, Japan UAS Industrial Development Association (JUIDA) has been facilitating & supporting the development of UAS/UAM in Japan, ranging from education, legislation, tradeshow, business matching up to international collaborations with the public and the private sectors. With more than 13,000 members & 250 accredited drone pilot schools, JUIDA continues to be a key player in Japan and overseas.

Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.

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