The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded $2.7 million in research to explore the use of drones in disaster preparedness and emergency response.

The administration said in its announcement that the research will explore the use of drones in providing effective and efficient responses to different natural and human-made disasters. 

It will also address coordination and logistic procedures among drone operators from federal agencies, as well as state and local disaster preparedness and emergency response organizations. 

“Every second counts in an emergency, and this funding will allow drones to safely and more quickly deploy in moments when minutes matter,” acting FAA administrator Billy Nolen said in a statement dated August 18, 2022.

The five universities and their award amounts are: 

  • University of Vermont                                  $1,195,000

  • University of Alabama Huntsville                $828,070

  • New Mexico State University                      $400,000

  • North Carolina State University                   $200,000

  • Kansas State University                               $145,000

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In Spain, a drone delivered a life jacket to a drowning 14-year-old boy, keeping him afloat until his rescue.