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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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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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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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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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DocJekyll
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« 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.
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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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etodd
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« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2017, 10:35:47 PM »

Looked in my saved grids for a bigger one, and found one I setup for 1083 acres. Using a P4 Pro and Drone Deploy software to setup and fly the grid. All vertical imagery, no obliques. 20 mp images for nice detail when zoomed in on a computer later.

Actual flying time approx 106 minutes. Flying at 400 feet and 70% overlap.  Would take 7 batteries to be safe. If a person search, the SD card could be taken out at each battery change, handed to someone with a laptop who could be looking at this set of images while the drone is continuing the grid search.

After a battery change the drone returns to the exact spot it left off. If the pilot sees something while flying, or the laptop person, the grid search can be paused to go take a look, and then resumed.

We must have lots of CAP folks that could start up with this today using member owned gear.

But ....  you know the answer to that idea.
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etodd
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« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2017, 12:52:19 AM »

An interesting article. A company getting military approval of their system:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/training-dma-yuneec-jennifer-pidgen/

[Edit: Apologies, I have some admin privs to help Pylon out behind the scenes with some site stuff, and I mashed the wrong button when attempting to quote earlier today and instead accidentally modified edtodd's message.  That was..clumsy. Sorry for any confusion -NIN]
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NIN
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« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2017, 10:55:56 PM »

An interesting article. A company getting military approval of their system:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/training-dma-yuneec-jennifer-pidgen/

Douglas Spotted Eagle, mentioned in the article, is a very good friend of mine.

These guys are working hard to capture sort of the "more than consumer drone, but less than a massive industrial drone" segment for things like LIDAR, thermal imaging and photography (Douglas is a long-time NAB video producer... )
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bwana50
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« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2017, 09:31:51 PM »

Quote
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?
Yes.  And yes, certificated pilots can take the 107 test for free, but that doesn't necessarily mean they would all be mission pilots - could be TMPs or even just VFR pilots.  And, we might even attract existing Part 107 pilots as recruits to CAP if we could say "we have a drone program...".

Quote
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.
Exactly.  I fear CAP may already be too late to get involved in drone ops.  Still, two drones can cover a given area faster than one can, so perhaps our angle will be not so much "we can do this for you" but "we can help you do this".

Quote
After selling the so-called white elephants, how do you suggest we conduct our orientation flights?
I think I actually saw this in a CAPR somewhere, but - that's not why we have aircraft.  Sure, it's a cool benefit of being in CAP, but the aircraft fleet exists for ES missions, and we can use them for O-rides because we just happen to have them.

Quote
I just don't see the usefulness of these small drones in very many SAR situations.
Agreed that they may not be useful in all situations.  But, IMO, the cost is low enough that they can be purchased and available for use when needed.  Here's a couple ideas for situations where they might be useful:
- Ground team searches one direction, while drone searches the other direction.  Now we're covering twice as much ground with the same number of people.
- Obstacle that prevents a team from moving forward on a search.  Pop the drone up to take a look at the other side and see if there are any items of interest there.
- Time-critical missions.  Deploying a drone for a quick air search will be much faster than deploying an aircraft.
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2017, 09:37:42 PM »

Quote

I think I actually saw this in a CAPR somewhere, but - that's not why we have aircraft.  Sure, it's a cool benefit of being in CAP, but the aircraft fleet exists for ES missions, and we can use them for O-rides because we just happen to have them.


Really? I have been in the program 20 years and this is how it has been given to me all this time. For both ES and O-flights...
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Live2Learn
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« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2017, 03:13:21 PM »

Quote

I think I actually saw this in a CAPR somewhere, but - that's not why we have aircraft.  Sure, it's a cool benefit of being in CAP, but the aircraft fleet exists for ES missions, and we can use them for O-rides because we just happen to have them.


Really? I have been in the program 20 years and this is how it has been given to me all this time. For both ES and O-flights...

Cadet Programs, Disaster Relief/SAR, and Aerospace Education are the three pillars.  "O" flights are a means to accomplish aspects of both Cadet Programs and Aerospaced Education...  An important means, certainly.  Also "O" flights may be a valuable perk for recruiting and Cadet retention.  For some individuals learning and doing mission related drone piloting skills might be an equal or greater draw than "O" flights, depending upon how that tool is presented and trained.  In any case, automated cockpits (where a 'pilot' is an optional feature) are clearly on the horizon.  Opportunities for cadets to acquire deeper understanding of drones may offer greater value than the "O" flight syllabus presents.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 03:25:59 PM by Live2Learn » Logged
Live2Learn
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« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2017, 04:04:11 PM »

Here's a pretty good example of how a drone is a better SAR tool than an aircraft.

https://www.hubcitytimes.com/2017/11/14/drone-public-safety-dog-search-rescue/

"Today it was somebody’s dog. Tomorrow it could be somebody’s child or somebody’s grandparent,” Bodendorfer said.

“The reality is that this is a very hard operation when you think about the size of the dog  (or a person)  and the area we were covering. … Even though the drone was a tool that helped us cover so much ground, it wasn’t the right tool for the job,” he added.

Bodendorfer said with infrared technology — a thermal camera — the search for Jax could have continued into the night and would have led to a quicker rescue.
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sardak
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« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2017, 04:33:45 PM »

Here's a search from two years ago in which a sUAS with an infrared camera found a missing horse.

http://kdvr.com/2015/10/18/local-store-operator-helps-find-missing-castle-rock-horse-with-a-drone/



Mike
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etodd
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« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2017, 06:32:18 PM »

My example at the top of page two of this thread of a 1000 acre search ... give me a few minutes notice and travel time and I can be there searching.

Call 2 hours before sun-down and we can maybe locate before the sun goes down. Call us to use the airplane and it'll have to wait 12 hours until sun up.

These smaller drones cannot be used in the same way as a plane. The batteries start to auto 'spin down' after a few days. They cannot be left at a hangar or CAP office. They have to be maintained. Another reason member-owned gear would work best in many instances.

Don't make me have to spend time trying to enter drone sorties in WMIRS and have to find a FRO. If so, may as well wait until tomorrow again. The local police, fire, etc., folks we would compete with, would be 'out the door' and flying in minutes.

Its all apples and oranges with airplane usage. Any attempt to try and make drone usage the same ... will fail.
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2017, 06:38:16 PM »

Only drones modified to self-charge batteries would overcome limitation on battery as posted by eTodd. As in having a drone with solar cells on their wings. As they fly, their battery is charged, but what will happen at night?

As of now, I do not think that CAP is ready to just take over drones as part of our ES.

The few real-world examples notwithstanding.
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etodd
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« Reply #30 on: November 15, 2017, 06:56:57 PM »

Only drones modified to self-charge batteries would overcome limitation on battery as posted by eTodd. As in having a drone with solar cells on their wings. As they fly, their battery is charged, but what will happen at night?

All the DJI type lithium batteries 'self-drain' electronically after a few days. Not good for them to remain on the shelf fully charged.

Quote
As of now, I do not think that CAP is ready to just take over drones as part of our ES.

Agree ... partially for reasons I stated above. The CAP 'powers that be' I don't think are ready for something so fast moving and changing as I described above. Other agencies would be flying within minutes. CAP simply isn't setup that way and not sure we, as an organization, can compete in that arena.  We relish our systems that eat up time. Good for airplane use, but will make drones extremely difficult.
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etodd
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« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2017, 07:01:08 PM »

Bottom line. If you are currently a Part 107 pilot and want to use your gear for SAR, then go visit your local EMA, police and fire folks, and volunteer on your own. NOT as part of CAP, and don't wear your uniform. Just go 'make a difference' as John Q. Public and help. :)
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