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Author Topic: Drones used in SAR  (Read 1837 times)
Eclipse
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« on: November 08, 2017, 08:14:05 PM »




http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2017/11/08/woman-rescued-by-drone-sheriff-north-carolina-elderly-missing-person-orig-ak-lon.cnn

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The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

EMT-83
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 09:38:48 PM »

A missing Alzheimer's patient was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, prompting our fire and police departments to jointly purchase and operate a UAS.

Getting a Thermal Imaging Camera up in the air is a game changer.
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etodd
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 09:51:04 PM »

Yes ... local police, fire, sheriffs and other 'local' organizations are buying drones and using them in-house, more and more everyday. And local news outlets, whether TV, print, etc.

I'm a commercial drone photographer, so I'm NOT anti drone.  But with all these agencies doing it in-house, CAP will be sitting by the phone ....



Aerial photos from the plane for FEMA (350,000 photos in TX) will still be our big game for awhile.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 09:57:08 PM by etodd » Logged
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Eclipse
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2017, 10:01:54 PM »

But with all these agencies doing it in-house, CAP will be sitting by the phone ....

That's my point.  There may still be a window here that CAP can squeeze into,
but if it moves at its usual pace, it might just as well hang it up.

This isn't the '80s and people aren't going to wait around anymore for
years-long updates to regs, re-numbering that delays enhancements, and
other "fun" - they will simply move on to the next table at the air show and fill
out their application.

At $2k on the low end for a UAV with thermal, this tech is well within the reach of
any municipality, even as an "experiment".

CAP doesn't have the time to spend trying to find some off-brand supplier from
another country to provide an RFP for 2 experimental units that will be deployed
a year later to a region for a "pilot", to then be discussed sometime in the future.

These things should be the new L-Pers, deployed at least to every Group in CAP
(yeah, I know, some wings don't have groups, somehow it'll work itself out), and
NESA should have a UAV SAR school THIS YEAR.

When the average CERT team can outpace an organizaiton like CAP, the clock is ticking.

This something that would attract new members, bring us into the mid-2000's in tech,
and CAP could leverage it's still outstanding ICS capabilities into deploy-able UAV units.
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The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

etodd
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2017, 10:22:13 PM »


That's my point.  There may still be a window here that CAP can squeeze into,
but if it moves at its usual pace, it might just as well hang it up.

This isn't the '80s and people aren't going to wait around anymore for
years-long updates to regs, re-numbering that delays enhancements, and
other "fun" - they will simply move on to the next table at the air show and fill
out their application.

At $2k on the low end for a UAV with thermal, this tech is well within the reach of
any municipality, even as an "experiment".

CAP doesn't have the time to spend trying to find some off-brand supplier from
another country to provide an RFP for 2 experimental units that will be deployed
a year later to a region for a "pilot", to then be discussed sometime in the future.

These things should be the new L-Pers, deployed at least to every Group in CAP
(yeah, I know, some wings don't have groups, somehow it'll work itself out), and
NESA should have a UAV SAR school THIS YEAR.

When the average CERT team can outpace an organizaiton like CAP, the clock is ticking.

This something that would attract new members, bring us into the mid-2000's in tech,
and CAP could leverage it's still outstanding ICS capabilities into deploy-able UAV units.

Man, I'm in agreement with you, and we've had lots of threads about this before. But from a practical and realistic standpoint I just am not sure it can happen.

As you state about 'time'.... By the time CAP choses a particular drone, someone spends 6 months and writing and getting approved a 'handbook' for it (because CAP doesn't ever like manufacturers manuals) and then requires CAP Airborne Photographers to attend a weekend seminar thats only given twice a year (after someone has written a new SQTR sheet for it, that is) ... well, we all get the idea. By then the drone sent to the unit is outdated, out of production, and the maker is no longer sending software updates.

How many $100k invested in the Garmin Virb debacle? What lessons learned?

Will drone pilots be required to have the Part 107? If so, how many CAP members will fork out the $150 for the test or will CAP reimburse?  CAP airplane pilots can take an online test and get it for free, so would it wind up with most drone pilots be existing Mission Pilots? Ideally this would hopefully not be the case.

CAP Hdqs would not like this ... but this really should be grass roots to make it happen. Either/or:

A)  Member Owned Aircraft (drones).   CAP is already full of drone owner operators, must a large number with their Part 107. Take advantage of them starting today.

B)  Give the squadrons the funding and decision making power to buy their own gear, based on what their local needs might be and develop their own training systems.




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etodd
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2017, 10:36:25 PM »

All that being said, if member owned was approved tomorrow and I raised my hand and said I'm on standby .... I'm wondering how we would market it in my area?

Our local City, police, fire and newspaper, already have drones. The local police and sheriff BOTH have manned helicopters. If I talked to any of them representing CAP and let them know our capabilities, they would give me 'that smile' as they said 'thanks for letting us know', that lets me know I'm forgotten as soon as I'm out the door.

So I'm thinking the marketing would have to be to smaller towns in neighboring 'poorer' counties. The towns with a three man police force and a volunteer fire department.

It would be quite a marketing challenge.
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Live2Learn
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2017, 02:43:20 AM »


So I'm thinking the marketing would have to be to smaller towns in neighboring 'poorer' counties. The towns with a three man police force and a volunteer fire department.

It would be quite a marketing challenge.

And the money to buy the equipment would cone from?  Dare I suggest the obvious...  sell 10% of the white elephants we call aircraft and invest the savings in maintenance plus the value of equipment sold in purchasing drones and getting quality training for the new 'custodial units'. 
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Alaric
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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2017, 09:47:28 AM »

But with all these agencies doing it in-house, CAP will be sitting by the phone ....


These things should be the new L-Pers, deployed at least to every Group in CAP
(yeah, I know, some wings don't have groups, somehow it'll work itself out), and
NESA should have a UAV SAR school THIS YEAR.


NESA did have a UAV school in 2017 and plans are for it to continue
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2017, 10:10:44 AM »

After selling the so-called white elephants, how do you suggest we conduct our orientation flights? Do you think that cadets will adore flying a drone as opposed to flying in a real elephant aircraft?
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isuhawkeye
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 10:49:06 AM »

there would be no need to sell all of the aircraft in the fleet.  depending on the adopted UAS platform the sale of one 172 could purchase multiple drones.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2017, 11:58:30 AM »

Sell the GA-8s and you could probably finance the entire UAV program with little to any effect on
regular flight operations.
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"The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does." - Napoleon Hill.
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

sardak
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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2017, 12:14:14 PM »

Two presentations from summer boards:

https://www.capmembers.com/media/cms/11_87EA7BA12848E.pdf  sUAS in CAP (recommended)

https://www.capmembers.com/media/cms/DO03__Whats_New_in_Operations_2671DE86FA16B.pdf   Section on "mini-UAV" and sUAS starts on slide 22. Includes material from the other presentation.

Will drone sUAS pilots be required to have the Part 107? Yes

CAP is well behind the curve on this.

Mike
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Eclipse
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« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2017, 01:53:55 PM »

While CAP "tests and develops" the world is moving on, and anyone on a CERT team, or a private citizen
can get a Phantom with IR via Prime, maybe same-day in some cases.

Instead of "developing and adopting" CAP should concentrate on maximizing the use of off-she-shelf
hardware and training to general operating principles ,instead of winding up with another A.R.C.H.E.R. debacle.

In fact that should >ALWAYS< be the mantra "off the shelf" vs. "in-house".  Because that is essentially what we expect of the membership
and their abilities - ROI is highest when we bring in trained and ready talent instead of trying to build people in house.
(isn't that the core of the NCO argument?)

The rating should be in development now, and added to as needed.

I get it, scale has always been a problem in CAP, but knowing and saying that doesn't change the math
the rest of the world has to deal with in terms of what is now available to the general public.
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"The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does." - Napoleon Hill.
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

DocJekyll
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Posts: 96

« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2017, 02:03:59 PM »

I think that drones in a SAR platform are a great idea, but we need to really nail down how and why they are used.

For instance, a ground or UDF team in the field can use a fixed wing FPV drone to scout ahead, or to survey the area the team is going into, or to confirm a crash from a distance. If you had a secondary camera or had it flying a GPS flight plan, you could use it almost like a crewed aircraft at low level doing grid searches. I've seen FPV drones with flight times of 2hrs, and some have added flexible solar to the top of the wings and extended that flight time far beyond that. Ranges I've seen up to 50km from the initial launch site. They really can be an effective tool.

There are plenty of commercial Drone and UAV products that can be modified to CAP use if you didn't want to build one 'in house', however the in house method could also fulfill the AE side of things too. Using a crew of 2, CAP van and ground team, the effectiveness of the unit to get the mission done can be amazing.

HOWEVER,

One problem that we're going to run into is the FAR's regarding drones, and them not being able to be out of visual sight of the operator. That's why when US drones are flying outside of restricted areas they have to have a chase plane.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 02:16:18 PM by DocJekyll » Logged
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RiverAux
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« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2017, 02:06:15 PM »

I just don't see the usefulness of these small drones in very many SAR situations.  So long as you need to be in eyesight to operate them they're not really going to let you cover that much more ground than you can with people. 

I most certainly see larger drones such as those the military are using knocking us out of more and more of our SAR missions and quickly made satellite imagery, combined with military drones, taking aerial photo missions. 

That being said, they would definitely enhance AE aspects of our program. 

CAP will still struggle on with ES missions for probably another 10-15 years, but I just don't see us doing much of anything in that arena as previously unique as our aerial capabilities used to be. 
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Live2Learn
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« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2017, 02:08:51 PM »

After selling the so-called white elephants, how do you suggest we conduct our orientation flights? Do you think that cadets will adore flying a drone as opposed to flying in a real elephant aircraft?

Looking at utilization stats, 10% of the fleet liquidated to acquire new (technically more relevant technology) would likely have no measurable affect on "o" flights or other mission capabilities.  In any case, the hand writing on the wall is very clear.  Existing demographics, the rapidly emerging AI technologies and resulting foreseeable changes in both civilian and military demand for pilots will probably result in far fewer pilots in far fewer cockpits within not many years.  CAP's fleet of 100LL guzzling antiques is already largely irrelevant today.  How many SAR/DR missions will CAP fly in 5 years as UAS aircraft continue integrating into the NAS?  I don't expect the number will be many at all.
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sardak
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« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2017, 02:34:16 PM »

Quote
One problem that we're going to run into is the FAR's regarding drones, and them not being able to be out of visual sight of the operator. That's why when US drones are flying outside of restricted areas they have to have a chase plane.
The following are the parts of the UAS rules and regs Part 107 for which the FAA will issue waivers:
    Flying at night (§ 107.29)
    Flying directly over a person or people (§ 107.39)
    Flying from a moving vehicle or aircraft, not in a sparsely populated area (§ 107.25)
    Flying multiple aircraft with only one pilot (§ 107.35)
    Flying beyond the pilot's visual line-of-sight (§ 107.31)
    Flying above 400 feet (§ 107.51B)
    Flying near airports / in controlled airspace (§ 107.41)

The FAA even provides step by step instructions for obtaining waivers and copies of already approved waivers.

Mike
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SarDragon
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« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2017, 12:41:08 AM »

I saw a video at our meeting last night about drones and their possible use for SAR. The specific unit used was a preprogrammed autonomous drone that flew a predetermined grid, and took video of the track. I'll have to get the URL from the presenter and post it later.
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Dave Bowles
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Live2Learn
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« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2017, 10:18:40 AM »

I saw a video at our meeting last night about drones and their possible use for SAR. The specific unit used was a preprogrammed autonomous drone that flew a predetermined grid, and took video of the track. I'll have to get the URL from the presenter and post it later.

Interesting.  What was the max area flown, at what grid spacing, and what altitude?  Perhaps there's a role for even relatively endurance challenged SAR drones.  I have heard from the SAR coordinator for Washington's WSDOT that a very high percentage of aircraft accidents in the last decade within the state occurred within just a mile or two of the departure, arrival, or alternate airport... and often along an extended final/departure segment.  For several years now all participating SAR aircraft fly assigned searches equipped with GPS devices that record the search aircraft track, altitude, airspeed, and time of day.  In most cases the accident aircraft were overflown multiple times during the search effort.  Perhaps augmenting crewed aircraft searchs in the vicinity of high probability areas (such as) near airports would be a very good use of endurance and line of sight restricted drones.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 10:22:21 AM by Live2Learn » Logged
NIN
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« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2017, 02:53:14 PM »

Some years back, one of our number here on CAPTalk flew for one of the companies that does low-altitude oblique mapping photography (the Bing Maps "Birds Eye View").   Their birds were equipped with FIVE high-resolution cameras in the baggage area. Two oblique side-looking, one nadir, and two oblique on the longitudinal axis fore and aft.

After getting taste of their angles, resolution and such, it seemed to me that image capture along with Mk I, Mod 0 eyeballs in the aircraft would be a way to get "additional coverage," especially if you could manage real-time downlink.  Either realtime or after the fact, in the ICP/Air Ops Branch, a few extra pairs of well rested, not bouncing around in the back seat Mk I, Mod 0 eyeballs to look at the take might notice something that wasn't seen before.  If its realtime, you could re-task for another look. If its post-collection, you could still flag for another sortie.

Some of that seems like a no-brainer, especially considering the data collection devices that exist now with large capacity drives and such.

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