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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Aviation & Flying Activities  |  Topic: The DRONE Zone
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Author Topic: The DRONE Zone  (Read 1837 times)
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 634

« on: April 19, 2017, 03:53:59 PM »

Quote
According to CAP Northeast Region Commander Col. Dan Leclair, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is eager for state emergency management agencies to have drone assets for post-disaster photography as well as search and rescue missions.

“I see ground teams taking a DJI Mavic or some type of fold-up drone out of their 24-hour pack and assisting with ground searches or disaster photography when we cannot get aircraft to the area,” Leclair said. “Since new radio-controlled airplane technology is very like what is being used by the U.S. Air Force in its Remotely Piloted Aircraft, making the connection between today’s drone technology and UASes/RPAs is easy.

“CAP Operations has started a UAS program within a few test wings, and in the Northeast Region states some of the wings are starting to train for search and rescue with drones,” he said. “CAP currently has two drone STEM Kits for cadets to explore the technology, and a summertime UAS Flight Academy where cadets can learn to fly drones.”

http://www.cap.news/pilotless-flights/


Like the new Drone Team uniforms. :)
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Майор Хаткевич
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Unit: GLR-IL-049

« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2017, 06:27:44 PM »

That's an NCSA picture...Keep wishing.

P.S. shout-out to my C/CC in the picture
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etodd
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Posts: 634

« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 07:24:36 PM »

That's an NCSA picture...

Of course. But fun to joke.

But exciting to see this type of program rolling out. If nationwide, it could really stir up some interest among potential Cadets

How many PART 107 UAS pilots do we have on board CAP at this point, that are already in place around the country if needed?
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Luis R. Ramos
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Posts: 2,414

« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2017, 07:29:10 PM »

Has there been a time when any CAP unit has not been able to provide airplanes for disaster photography?

If the affected wing cannot provide, other neighboring wings have.

The problem we have with ground teams is not "not responding," but "not getting calls from agencies."

Now, I see this coming. When off-the-street people flood a FEMA director with offers of drones for their ES needs, that director will have one more reason not to call us if our ground teams do not start offering these abilities...
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etodd
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Posts: 634

« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2017, 07:38:43 PM »

I went to Ops Quals here:

https://www.capnhq.gov/CAP.OPSQuals.Web/Pilot/FAARequirements.aspx

.... and was going to enter my UAS Certificate info and upload a copy ... and what is this? There isn't a place for UAS! And under the VERY long dropdown menu for Aircraft, I don't see any drone entry. Oh my!

C'mon Hdqrs ... time to catch up and let us enter our official FAA Remote Pilot certificates into the system, so you can start tracking how many we have and their locations.
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etodd
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2017, 07:42:22 PM »

Has there been a time when any CAP unit has not been able to provide airplanes for disaster photography?


I had to stand down from one SAREX AP sortie recently due to 500 OVC.   That would have been a perfect time to pull out a drone, if it was a small search area or disaster locations, etc.
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2017, 08:00:03 PM »

During a SAREX, I can understand. But during a mission? Or on an Air Force evaluation? Affected wings move Hell and High Water to insure it is covered. But on a SAREX? The need to cover, and the interest, is not there...
 
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etodd
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2017, 08:08:50 PM »

During a SAREX, I can understand. But during a mission? Or on an Air Force evaluation? Affected wings move Hell and High Water to insure it is covered. But on a SAREX? The need to cover, and the interest, is not there...

Huh?  Who has flown AP in a Real Mission, in a CAP plane, when skies were 500 OVC or less?
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etodd
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2017, 08:12:55 PM »

On a side note .... Real Time mapping of areas ... could be a huge thing. This article relates to farming, but imagine a lost person search, where the IC could be watching the area being mapped like this video in real time.

Other agencies will be on top of this fast. Will CAP keep up or get left more and more behind in the dust?

https://blog.dronedeploy.com/introducing-fieldscanner-real-time-drone-mapping-is-here-9e8c350775ed

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EMT-83
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Posts: 1,776

« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2017, 08:34:48 PM »

Not CAP related, but my fire department used our UAS at a building fire last week. The thermal imaging camera showed hot spots which otherwise would have been impossible to see.

It's just another tool in the box: useful at times, but not the answer for every situation.
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walter1975
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2017, 12:02:40 PM »

Unmanned Aircraft System are the fastest growing component of general aviation in the US (AOPA says so, FAA says so).  They are not a solution for all problems, but they have clear applications in all three of our mission areas:

Aerospace education - public:  having a body of drone specialists in CAP could support STEM outreach by providing expertise to schools that use our STEM products.
Aerospace education - internal:  an opportunity to engage members who are not aviators in aviation
Cadet: unmanned aircraft systems are a viable career path for young people - both in military and commercial careers - and drones are becoming an academic competency, especially in graduate research
Emergency services:  rapid search of small areas and damage assessment

There are a litany of unanswered questions:

Do we operate under Part 107?
What is the aircrew concept?
How do we train?
How do we manage the force of trained pilots?
How does this interface with the normal management programs for aviators?
Is a staff position required?
Insurance?
How do we integrate member owned unmanned aircraft?
etc.

This requires a disciplined requirements process, much as the Air Force uses to acquire and field new weapons systems.  Otherwise we end up with a patchwork of enthusiasts working at cross purposes.

In full disclosure, I hold a Remote Pilot Unmanned Aircraft Systems airman's certificate, and am a strong proponent for drones in our program. 
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SM Walter G. Green III, CAP
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walter1975
Recruit

Posts: 9
Unit: MER-VA-084

« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2017, 12:46:23 PM »

And one other really basic thought - we are an aviation organization - we have rated aircrew who fly fixed wing aircraft, balloons, gliders, so why are we not flying unmanned aircraft systems?  It is never a good idea to be behind the power curve ...
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SM Walter G. Green III, CAP
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Group 4, Virginia Wing
PHall
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2017, 12:55:17 PM »

Here's one little problem with CAP using anything larger then the small hobbyist drones with a GoPro camera.
The Air National Guard has been getting UAV's assigned to their units lately and they are starting to use them for DR work and searches under their state mission umbrella.
The California Air National Guard has used their UAV's in a couple of the major fires and also this past winter during the flooding.
Cal OES likes using them because, due to their sensor fit, they deliver a much higher quality product then CAP can with handheld cameras.
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Live2Learn
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Posts: 373

« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2017, 05:50:13 PM »

Here's one little problem with CAP using anything larger then the small hobbyist drones with a GoPro camera.
The Air National Guard has been getting UAV's assigned to their units lately and they are starting to use them for DR work and searches under their state mission umbrella.
The California Air National Guard has used their UAV's in a couple of the major fires and also this past winter during the flooding.
Cal OES likes using them because, due to their sensor fit, they deliver a much higher quality product then CAP can with handheld cameras.

IOW, crewed aircraft are rapidly becoming even more obsolete with the passage of every day.  Frankly, CAP's  "find" numbers per search mission are not impressive.  That's not surprising given the 1940's technology and search model that CAP is so heavily invested in (1950's designed airframes, human pilots, human observers).  Ya might say the band is playing new music, but the conductor didn't bring it to the concert.
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etodd
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2017, 07:50:08 PM »


Do we operate under Part 107?
What is the aircrew concept?
How do we train?
How do we manage the force of trained pilots?
How does this interface with the normal management programs for aviators?
Is a staff position required?
Insurance?
How do we integrate member owned unmanned aircraft?
etc.

Part 107 already describes the crew. Operator and visual observer.

As a Phantom 4 Pro owner, I can relate that having drone batteries sitting in a case for week and months on end waiting for a Mission, will kill them. If we went to any type of system like this they need to be used weekly for practice as well as to keep them working.

All of this would certainly need to be thought out better than the Garmin Virb fiasco. How many thousands of dollars of Vib kits are sitting in Squadron closets, probably to never see the light of day again?

Using dronedeploy or dji go apps to fly means nearly weekly updates from those folks.

All of which really means owner/operators are much more feasible. Rushing to a search area and having someone try to fly a real-time search grid is not the time for a rusty operator to handle it.  After the first few drones are crashed into trees or hillsides, CAP will ground them as fast as they did the Garmin Virbs.

So the reality is that trying to roll out solutions from Hdqs will be too slow, behind the times, and useless. A non-starter from day one.  This is more of a case where Hdqs should come up with rules for how we can "integrate member owned unmanned aircraft".  Those Squadrons who have Part 107 members who can go to a Search and volunteer to use their gear ... here are the rules.  Those Squadrons who don't have anyone like that yet ... stay the existing course.


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walter1975
Recruit

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Unit: MER-VA-084

« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2017, 10:02:27 AM »

Etodd has good points, and what I think we would both agree on is the need for both a fast and a well thought out implementation.   

Like any physical skill operating a drone requires regular practice - I make a point of flying daily, which may be over the requirement, but my experience is that currency standards will be needed, and that a minimum number of hours in the specific aircraft the individual operates is a necessity.  I hate to say that this has to be owner-operator, but it definitely is not fly once a quarter and you are current.  Given the variety of control configurations between manufacturers and the differences in operating instructions, familiarity with the aircraft being flown requires some practice.

Crew concept is a bit more complicated than Part 107, I think, and depends on mission.  For example, a big chunk of my flying is done indoors, basic control work, in a large space I have access to.  Visual observer time and experience in that environment is not all that useful.  Outside visual observer becomes much more important.  And then if you are using live video or other sensor technologies, I am not sure that it is all that effective for a pilot running a search pattern to be focused on the sensor outputs.  That seems to me to drive a pilot-in-command, visual observer, and sensor operator crew configuration if you are doing emergency services with the aircraft.  On the other hand, if you are doing drone training as airmanship training, you have the three man crew of Part 107 with the pilot in command, operator, and visual observer.  It is worth noting that the Air Force has a pilot and a sensor operator crew concept (and used to have separate wings for both - the sensor operator's wings have been replaced by the general enlisted aircrew wings). 

From a force management perspective, how do hours count?  Building time in drones is slow, compared to fixed wing aircraft.  Do all members of the crew receive time for flights or only the pilot-in-command? 

I would be interested in hearing from someone who knows what CAP HQ Operations and the nine units working with the DHS developed hexacopters are doing? 
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SM Walter G. Green III, CAP
Finance Officer
Group 4, Virginia Wing
Spaceman3750
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,588

« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2017, 10:20:09 AM »

I would be interested in hearing from someone who knows what CAP HQ Operations and the nine units working with the DHS developed hexacopters are doing?

You can see for yourself this summer if you want.

http://nesa.cap.gov/miniuav-course
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"Anyone can hold the helm when the seas are calm ... leadership is about weathering the storm."

The moment any commander or staff member considers themselves a gatekeeper, instead of a facilitator, they have failed at their job.
I can't fix all of CAP's problems, but I can lead from the bottom by building my squadron as a center of excellence to serve as an example of what every unit can be.
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 634

« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2017, 01:10:28 PM »

Quote
Course description:

These courses are to prepare CAP members to work towards becoming operational with Mini-UAVs.  CAP has 8 wings, one in each region, that are beta testing mini-UAV kits developed in conjunction with a DHS Science and Technology program to be able to support imagery collection by CAP ground teams using these units. CAP personnel will have to meet the FAA Part 107 requirements to operate the units on missions, and CAP will only support emergency missions (SAR and DR) with these units so that personnel are not put at additional risk by being too close to high risk activities like counterdrug and drug interdiction law enforcement support missions.

Now that may be a good answer. Instead of trying to get something all squadrons can use .... do it regionally. Trained and current teams with gear,  that are able and willing to travel a couple hundred miles or more, short notice, to a need.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 01:14:34 PM by etodd » Logged
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 634

« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2017, 02:16:38 PM »

Somewhat related.  But means DHS will be doing more and more of their own, and may not need CAP the next time large flooding occurs.


Quote
Mississippi State selected to lead Homeland Security UAS test site

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State University will lead a major research and development project for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after a rigorous and highly competitive review process.

The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has selected Mississippi as the new base of operations for small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), commonly known as drones, and a Mississippi State-led partnership will oversee the initiative.

According to Brooks, thanks to the diversity of the Mississippi Partnership’s offerings, DHS S&T will be able to conduct exercise and training to support a wide variety of simulated scenarios, including disaster relief (flood, fire and earthquake), highway and rail accidents, border protection, and containment of hazardous materials spills.

All of the planned exercise events will incorporate small UAS to assist DHS in monitoring and assessing the simulated scenarios over both land and water.

“Unmanned aircraft provide unmatched data that first responders and homeland defense agencies can use to make faster and better decisions across a range of critical situations,” Brooks said.

“Mississippi is fast becoming the nation’s hub as public and private partners work to successfully — and safely — integrate UAS into our national airspace system, and Mississippi State is leading the way,” Brooks noted.

https://www.suasnews.com/2017/04/mississippi-state-selected-lead-homeland-security-uas-test-site/

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Spaceman3750
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Posts: 2,588

« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2017, 03:09:00 PM »

It's really freaking hard to document flood waters or tornado damage on any more than a 3 block scale with things that only go 15 minutes on a charge and can't leave line of sight.

A tool, not the tool.
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"Anyone can hold the helm when the seas are calm ... leadership is about weathering the storm."

The moment any commander or staff member considers themselves a gatekeeper, instead of a facilitator, they have failed at their job.
I can't fix all of CAP's problems, but I can lead from the bottom by building my squadron as a center of excellence to serve as an example of what every unit can be.
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Aviation & Flying Activities  |  Topic: The DRONE Zone
 


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