Wing Loong UAV assists in rescue effort after quake ravages NW China county

Visual data enabled emergency response personnel to assess the damage, devise a rescue plan and coordinate the relief effort.

Wing Loong-2H, a large-sized UAV developed by AVIC (航空工业), was deployed to assist with rescue efforts in an area of northwestern China that was hit by an earthquake.

A 6.2-magnitude quake hit the Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province on December 18, killing 127 people so far and injuring more than 500.

On December 19, a Wing Loong-2H drone, laden with reconnaissance and communication mounts, took off from an airport in Zigong of southwestern Sichuan Province, and arrived in the skies over Jishishan County, the epicenter of the quake.

It beamed back real-time images of the quake-stricken area to the command center some 900km away in Sichuan for analysis.

Visual data enabled emergency response personnel to assess the damage, devise a rescue plan and coordinate the relief effort.

cnrobopedia reported earlier that the Wing Loong series has a load capacity of 200kg and a lift of 6km.

With a maximum speed of 280kph, it can remain airborne for 20 hours and has a range of 4,000 km.

Designed to withstand winds on a Beaufort scale of eight to 10, it is capable of carrying out disaster reconnaissance and emergency telecom service missions.

Wing Loong-2H has been put to the test in the wake of multiple disasters in recent years, such as the floods that ravaged Zhengzhou in 2021 and the earthquake that jolted Luding of southwestern Sichuan in 2022.

The presence of Wing Loong-2H lent support to frontline rescue effort as it solved the issue of “information silo” and restored access to the affected areas cut off by torn roads, power outage and crippled internet, Chinese media reported.

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Trip.com Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at nitao0927@gmail.com.

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