UCSD Researchers Use Drones to Test Building During Earthquake

UCSD researchers flew two drones in and around a building to asses it during a quake

A 5.2 magnitude earthquake jolted San Diego last week serving as a reminder of the dangers earthquakes present.

On Wednesday, researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) tested the use of drones to help better prepare San Diego during an earthquake.

UCSD researchers flew two drones in and around a building at the shake table in Scripps Ranch.

The building was six-story structure, similar to a residential apartment complex complete with utilities inside.

Along with other cameras, the drones essentially gave the building an X-ray or MRI while it was jolted with magnitude 6.7 quake.

That's the same force that hit Northridge back in 1994, taking down freeways and homes.

Using the drones allowed researchers to map the building before the quake hit and then assess the damage.

They used more than 250 sensors, 40 video cameras, and a GPS system to gather data during the tests.

Researchers hope to use drones one day to create images of bridges and buildings.

“It will help first responders know 'Should I go to this city block or that one?Where’s the most damage that occurred? Where’s the most good I can do,'" explained Professor Falko Kuester, who heads UC San Diego’s Drone Program.

A spokeswoman says results from the three-week program which will include fire testing, could take years to analyze.

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