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  Dehydration and Heatstroke

Dehydration and Heatstroke

There are a number of physiological factors to consider when planning for safe unmanned aircraft operations. Given the considerable amount of time that sUAS pilots may spend outdoors, two major factors to consider are dehydration and heatstroke.


  • Dehydration is the critical loss of water from the body. Symptoms may include:
    • Headache;
    • Fatigue;
    • Cramps;
    • Sleepiness; and
    • Dizziness.
  • Common causes of dehydration are prolonged exposure to asphalt areas (where heat may be more intense), wind, humidity, and diuretic drinks such as coffee, tea, alcohol, and caffeinated soft drinks.
  • To prevent dehydration, drink two to four quarts of water every 24 hours.


  • Heatstroke is a condition cause be an inability of the body to control its temperature.
  • The onset of heatstroke has similar symptoms to that of dehydration, but the final symptom is full collapse.
  • To prevent heatstroke, similar steps should be taken as to prevent dehydration: drink ample water.
    • In intense heat, individuals should drink one quart per hour.
    • In moderate heat, individuals should drink one pint per hour.