Inside Unmanned Systems

OCT-NOV 2017

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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SPECIAL REPORT 24 unmanned systems inside October/November 2017 Photos courtesy of Insitu and PrecisionHawk. W ithin a day of the team at Insitu making the decision to go to Texas, a group of some 15 employees had the large black command trucks that carry the ScanEagle UAS packed and ready to go. They drove the command vehicles plus pickup trucks for launch and recovery, a box truck and rented recreational vehicles (RVs) south from their headquarters in Washington State. The Insitu team fl ew its fi rst missions at the Port of Corpus Christi, said Russ Torgerson, mission coordinator for these fl ights and dep- uty manager of commercial aviation for Insitu. They worked alongside Hendrix and the Lone Star UAS Center, as well as a variety of other organizations, to identify potential hazards. Insitu spent three days at Corpus Christi be- fore moving on to work with the emergency operations center in Fort Bend County, which is west of Houston. Offi cials there wanted to know the magnitude and the scope of the flood- ing, and Insitu worked with partner TacAero, a manned aviation asset that fl ies ScanEagle sensors, to provide that data. Engineers directed operators to the areas they wanted to look at, telling them when to have the ScanEagle stay on a target and when to move on. This enabled engineers to see the whole picture, and to direct resources where they were needed most. The team fl ew similar mapping missions in Brazoria County, Torgerson said. "It really helped them understand the magni- tude," he said. "You know it's bad and a terrible disaster, but before you have something like UAS that can surveil the whole area, it doesn't hit home, not until you have that kind of data. When they saw our data and our video for the fi rst time it was emotional. It really was an eye- opener for them." SCANEAGLE HELPING DURING ANOTHER DISASTER AROUND THE SAME TIME the team from Insitu traveled to Texas to help with hurricane recovery, there was also a wild fi re in Columbia Gorge, near Insitu's headquarters in Washington. The ScanEagle was used for fi re reconnaissance, Russ Torgerson said, with the Insitu team working closely with offi cials to conduct night-time missions. Partner TacAero helped during these missions as well. "We gave incident command a real time picture of what the fi re was doing, where it had spread and what areas needed attention," Torgerson said. "We were able to do that all night, so in the morning they could use our data in real time to make their attack plans." PrecisionHawk, Insitu, Respond AFTER THE STORM

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