Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG 2015

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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70 unmanned systems inside   September/October 2015 AIR/LAND LAW ENFORCEMENT and marketing. Many officers don't understand the capabilities, or how easy it is to operate a UAS—es- pecially one designed specifically for law enforce- ment applications. "We need education at the police force level about just how easy it is to operate a UAS," Proulx said. "There's a lingering mental perception that it requires a degree of specialization that is difficult to achieve." Many agencies also don't realize that UAS like Aeryon's SkyRanger are designed for these types of applications and can fly in harsh conditions, day or night, Proulx said. They think they can only fly them during calm days, a misconception that may keep them from pursuing a UAS program. The thought of developing a policy for flying UAS also keeps agencies grounded, Miller said, but the process isn't as exhaustive as many agen- cies think. The policy Miller submitted to his policy committee was 30 pages. The committee cut it down to 17 because many of the areas hit on were covered in other policies. Since the MSP received authorization, they've fielded more than 100 calls and emails from agencies asking about their policies and proce- dures. Rogers and the other officers are happy to answer their questions, and even offer their UAS services for free to any law enforcement agency in the state. "There's no need for another agency to re-write a manual if we already have the information," Rogers said. "And we want to make sure every- body that operates these systems are operating them within the rules and regulations." The Future As UAS continue to evolve, Proulx predicts more law enforcement agencies will use them. He sees agencies centrally managing the aircraft and making them available for various applications. Aircraft like the SkyRanger come equipped with mission specific hardware, software and sensor packages, making them easy to use and ready to deploy at a moment's notice. Miller sees a time when agencies deploy UAS on a daily basis, and rather than specific teams operating them, any trained officers will be able to deploy them when necessary. The technology will eventually get to a place where it's viewed as dis- posable, making it less of an issue if a small UAS is damaged during a crash. The agencies that have already made the move to unmanned want to not only stay on the lead- ing edge and use the most up-to-date technology that's available, they want to create a path for other agencies to follow. They hope to lead the way as UAS become an everyday tool officers can rely on for a variety of applications. As more agencies fly UAS and have conversa- tions with the communities they serve about the benefits, agreed those who spoke with Inside Un- manned Systems, more people will accept them as a worthwhile technological advancement. Gain- " As more agencies get their hands on this technology, we'll see an even greater spread of applications for these aircraft." Mesa County Sheriff's Offce Draganfyer X4-ES. Photo courtesy of Mesa County Sheriff 's Office –David Proulx, Aeryon VP product and marketing

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