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01 May 2015

UX5 Supports Environmental Cleanup in Israel

On the night of December 3rd, 2014, millions of liters of crude oil bubbled up from a broken pipeline in southern Israel , causing what one Environmental Protection Ministry official called "one of the gravest pollution events in the country's history." Five million liters — about 1.3 million gallons — gushed from the buried pipe, bubbled up to the surface and crossed a highway like a black river at highflood. Crude oil flowed throughout the Evrona Nature Reserve, severely polluting the reserve area, endangering hundreds of animals and area residents who suffered from the oil fumes that permeated the air dozens of kilometers away. 

 

Upon approval of the local civilian aviation authority, the Trans-Israel Pipeline and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority decided to operate lightweight UAV’s to get a quick survey of the polluted area, by aerial photos, in order to estimate the extent of pollution. Bladeworx, a photography, production and media company that provides multidisciplinary photography and unique groundbreaking production services based on the creative use of UAV’s and cutting edge robotic systems, was selected for this immense operation.  Bladeworx, together with the Civil Aviation Authority and other organizations helped managed this crisis.

 

Bladeworx operated various systems throughout the reserve, aiming to map the spreading of the spill. The Trimble UX5 was used extensively for this mission. All aerial photos were processed into orthophotos and uploaded into a GIS system on the same day. All of the forces involved in pumping the oil and containing the oil pollution navigated with a dedicated mobile application, using the aerial photos as an up-to-date base layer and to monitor their progress.

 

The UX5’s rapid status sampling of land units allowed forces to move ahead quickly, while viewing high resolution images within short timeframes. The UX5’s assistance during this operation was essential and further proves that it can serve as an extremely valuable tool for managing crises and natural disasters.

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