COVID-19 is pushing health systems beyond their limits. To cope with the problem, health agencies are rapidly building new emergency facilities to handle the overflow. In Argentina, authorities turned to drones to quickly survey sites for a dozen modular hospitals across the country.

Authorities needed to move fast. Confirmed cases of the virus in Argentina have doubled in just the past two weeks. These hospitals will add a much-needed 1,200 beds to the medical system, including ICU and isolation rooms. They are to be quickly constructed atop concrete slabs but still need to meet all health and safety standards.

Covering a lot of territory

It’s the far-flung nature of the project that posed one of the biggest hurdles to getting it done quickly. The twelve facilities are spread across four provinces. To speed things up, the designers opted for drone surveys of the sites. Using DJI Phantom 4 Pro and Mavic 2 Pro drones, they were able to survey all 12 locations, covering over 10,000 square meters, in only three days.

3D Map

Photos from the drones were fed into software to quickly create both 2D and 3D maps of the sites. Based in the cloud, those maps are accessible to various agencies at the same time, such as the Ministry of Public Works and the electricity and telecom companies.

By quickly collecting and sharing information on the sites, the project was able to get started and progress much faster than with traditional surveying methods. As Monica Rivera, executive coordinator of the program, said, “Today, there is no longer any doubt that drones add value to the sector of planning and construction of public works.”

Images: Courtesy DJI


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