Inside Unmanned Systems

DEC 2018 - JAN 2019

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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AIR IPP FLORIDA 18  December 2018/January 2019 unmanned systems inside W hen the Lee County Mosquito Control District first submit- ted its proposal for the Federal Aviation Administration's new Integration Pilot Program (IPP), the team intended to focus on using unmanned aircraft for surveillance and deploying the 1,500-pound, fixed-wing Teros drone to spray insecticides. After personnel changes and a better under- standing of the cost and manpower en- tailed in implementing such a system, the Florida team decided to shift their focus and is now working closely with the FAA to develop a new plan. Deploying unmanned aircraft sys- tems (UAS) beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), over people and at night to monitor areas where mosquitos breed is still part of that plan though largescale insecticide spraying is not. Instead, the team will look into releas- ing sterile mosquitos into urban envi- ronments via smaller drones, as well as possibly spot spraying areas known to have mosquitos. "We kind of hit reset and are in the planning stages again," said Eric Photos courtesy of UAV Factory and Lee County Mosquito Control District. Jackson, deputy director for public in- formation and education for the Lee County Mosquito & Hyacinth Control Districts. "We're a little bit behind in comparison to the other teams, but we want to make sure we do this right and that our plan is feasible for what's probably the smallest agency selected to be part of the IPP program." THE FIRST GOAL: SURVEILLANCE AND INSPECTION During the first phase, the team plans to use drones to surveil and inspect mosquito breeding areas, Jackson said. UAS will f ly over tree lines to monitor aquatic vegetation and river quality. And with the ability to f ly BVLOS, UAS also could monitor tide f low along barrier islands, where mosquitos breed in the salt marsh. "The mosquitos lay eggs in the dry salt marsh and when the tide comes, it floods the eggs and starts the process," Jackson said. "We now monitor that with helicopters. The pilots check for those areas. I don't ever see us not using helicopters, but it would be more effi- cient if we could pinpoint some areas by by Renee Knight The Florida Integration Pilot Program (IPP) team, led by the Lee County Mosquito Control District, has shifted away from initial plans to test spraying using the large Teros drone to primarily focus on using drones for surveillance and sterile mosquito release. A CHANGING FOCUS We know we want to use drones for surveillance and to release sterile mosquitos. It remains to be seen how our program will evolve." Rita Maiss, special projects manager, Lee County Mosquito Control District " P P IP Integration Pilot Program Team Follow-Ups

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