Cranfield University will share in funding from Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to provide cutting-edge information from UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) in an extreme weather event.
  • DatesMarch 2019-May 2021
  • SponsorInnovate UK
  • PartnersOasis Hub

The Cranfield team, working with Oasis Hub Limited, an SME (small- to medium-sized enterprise), is set to change the speed and nature of ‘at-the-scene’ information. This will help to reduce the risk to life by allowing emergency response units to prioritise resources and deploy them effectively, reduce the impact to livelihoods and assets by improving the country's response to an extreme weather event.

The team will be using instrumented UAVs to collect footage of impacted areas. Manual processing of images is a slow process, so they will ‘teach’ artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse the images and recognise damage from the air speeding up the process.

Traditionally, events such as flooding would be investigated by loss adjusters for the insurance industry. Often, delayed access to areas when incidents are extreme or prolonged leads to extended costs for claims; emergency responders may struggle to reach homes or businesses when roads are affected; home owners may be evacuated from their homes for extended periods while insurance claims are investigated and paid.

Over time the team plan to use the data to build a library of vulnerable areas which will assist insurers, emergency responders and planners by providing an accessible asset.