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Room 4
Tuesday, October 3, 2017  |  11:45 AM - 12:45 PM

Open to Conference Attendees Only

Weighing the Risks: Drones for Environmental Assessment

Bradley Koeckeritz
Chief of the UAS division, U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Aviation Services
Christopher Moccia
EVP Telecommunications, Measure
Dr. Scott Burgess
Associate Professor, College of Aeronautics, Department of Flight, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

This session will illustrate these case studies:

1.  In May of this year, Embry-Riddle sent a study away class of undergrads with faculty to chase after tornadoes in Oklahoma which yielded some amazing results.  The goal was to perform coordination, mission planning, risk management, and tactics, techniques or procedures to operate a sUAS system in an actual flight environment for the students.  We successfully demonstrated how sUAS full motion video and still image captures were successful due to planning and execution of UAS operations in disaster relief. In collaboration with several companies we were able to livestream data and overlay map data (augmented reality) to the customer. The team conducted post storm live and near real time reporting to the Oklahoma Dept of Emerg. Mgmt EOC after the Elk City tornado on 16 May.  Related flooding days later in Johnston County also yielded excellent experience and positive results. (Scott Burgess Ph.D.)

2.  In early October 2016, Hurricane Matthew, a powerful Category 4 storm with wind speeds up to 120 mph, swept through the Caribbean and along the coasts of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Forty-three lives were lost in the U.S., along with hundreds abroad. Business intelligence group CoreLogic estimated the cost of the damage to be between $4-$6 billion.  From newsgathering and inspecting critical infrastructure to assisting in the insurance claims process, Measure’s “eye-in-the-sky” provided first responders, enterprise customers, and the general public alike with a new level of situational awareness. This case study will detail operations before, during, and after the hurricane, including our work to survey Verizon cell sites impacted by the severe flooding. (Chris Moccia)

3. The U.S Department of the Interior is responsible for the stewardship of nearly 20% of the land within the United States.  Emergency management is an area in which UAS are having a big impact on the day-to-day operations of DOI first responders. DOI will share various experiences and lessons learned from it's use of UAS for search and rescue, wildland firefighting and emergency management.   (Brad Koeckeritz)