Here's what India can learn from the Thailand cave rescue
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The boy's football team trapped in Tham Luang Cave have officially been rescued. The bravery of the people involved can't be discounted, but
In either case, technology can be used for all the right reasons to get the job done.
Tech lessons for India
1. Don't wait for the submarine
Elon Musk wanted to help and had the technology in place do so as well, it's just that it was a little late and the human rescue operation was already underway. Not to mention that the Navy SEALS had already advised against using 'un-tested' technology when the PTT Exploring and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP) offered their underground vehicles.
Equipped with sonar scanners that could help create an underwater map of the cave and help divers navigate through the muddy water, it was still recommended that they don't enter since the terrain was very different from what the vehicles were used to and had been tested in.
India, as of now, doesn't have an underwater technology to help with
Also, don't wait for the submarine. Rescue operations are time sensitive and critical, if you have resources on hand, use them.
2. Map it out
Anyone who's played PUBG or Call of Duty knows that you can see the terrain so much better from a height. It's actually just basic battle strategy. Which is why it made so much sense for the PTTEP, in coordination with InterMap, to create a 3D aerial map of the cave and terrain where the children and their coach were trapped.
Ordinarily, PTTEP uses these drones, which inspect high-risk potential drilling sites, but combined with mapping technology they were able to ascertain potential entry points.
Drones are key. They do away with the human effort of the ground team to manually climb and check each location.
This is important because it goes a long way in simplifying the operation.
Urban flooding, a paradigm that India is still grappling with, could find real relief in such a measure. In the past, underwater expressways and submerged low-rise buildings have proven hard to spot in muddy waters.
Too much of good thing can prove to be bad. An abundant water supply is a boon for agriculture, and on the other hand floods have the potential to wreck in, an otherwise, fruitful season.
During the cave rescue, it was India's very own
This measure, and others which are similar, are already being implemented in few areas in India. For example, Grundfos India provides the Chennai City Corporation with mobile pumping stations that are specifically designed for floods. Even Mumbai spends crores on pumps to dewater the city.
4. Calling Houston
The devices that were originally used to contact the missing football team weren't new-age, but actually 20-years old. Issued by Derbyshire Cave Rescue Organisation, these HeyPhones can operate on such a low frequency that those waves can pass through thick rock walls.
More than that, the Thai rescue team also got in touch with Maxtech Networks, an Israeli communication company. These guys provided 19 special handheld devices that could boost the power of the default radio by 20 times. The system works on a 'daisy chain' mechanism that hops voice, video and data from one device to the next.
One of the main obstacles that have to be overcome in emergency disasters is communication. Regardless of whether it is
Floods are not a new phenomenon in India and the headline has, too often, been that poor preparedness is what caused of the disaster. Integrating some tech, making information more public and having some sort of integrated system in place are only the most basic of requirements.