Italy-based micro unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturer Advanced Aviation Technology (A2TECH) said it participated in an earthquake response exercise, marking the first time a micro UAV has been used in such a role. During the exercise, which was performed in October in Lake Garda, Italy, the UAV demonstrated fully pilot-in-loop flight in harsh environments and weather conditions, where digital maps was not available and preprogramming of missions was not possible. The micro-UAV was piloted using the RealityVISION Universal Ground Control Cockpit, using stick, throttle and pedals, the same found in a standard manned aircraft cockpit. The flight demo included numerous passes over the base camp and surrounding areas that showcased the UAV‚s ability to operate in remote locations. The UAV also demonstrated its streaming imagery transmission capability, which is vital to the disaster relief and assessment missions it is designed to perform for civil defense forces. Next steps would include the integration of the UAV system in the regular civil defense management chain, software suites and communications. The UAV pilot can send GPS position data direct to the base camp to signal survivors and to request ground troops on a precise location, the company said.