Unmanned systems: Drones assist with Hurricane Dorian cleanup

Sept. 6, 2019
uAvionix offers free UAS receivers to first responders and drone organizations.

In this week’s roundup from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, which highlights some of the latest news and headlines in unmanned vehicles and robotics, aid for UAS deployment to help Hurrican Dorian recover, drone flights to monitor and protect Native American lands, and ExxonMobil expands drone data collection efforts.

uAvionix offering free pingRX UAS ADS-B receivers to organizations helping with Hurricane Dorian recovery efforts

With Hurricane Dorian posing a significant threat to Florida and the Southeast of the U.S., uAvionix has announced that it will offer free pingRX UAS ADS-B receivers to first responders and UAS service organizations taking part in the rescue and recovery efforts associated with the massive storm.

“Over the past few years, the use of drones in hurricane and natural disaster recovery efforts has increased significantly due to the value of the real-time data collected in combination with ease of deployment,” explains Christian Ramsey, uAvionix president.

“First responders and recovery crews will undoubtedly work tirelessly for weeks in response to Dorian. We hope to make these efforts just a bit safer and encourage good airspace safety practices with the use of the pingRX systems.”

A dual-frequency ADS-B receiver designed to be used by UAS, uAvionix’s pingRX is capable of providing the operator with a digital view of ADS-B equipped aircraft in the airspace up to hundreds of miles away. Local ADS-B traffic is displayed on the Ground Control Station (GCS) display when the receiver is integrated with a compatible autopilot such as ARDUPILOT, Pixhawk, PX4, or the Cube.

uAvionix says that it is offering a free pingRX to each organization that is helping with the Hurricane Dorian recovery efforts.

Oneida Indian Nation partners with NUAIR to use UAS to monitor and protect land and environmental resources

In an effort to enhance its ability to monitor, observe, manage and protect its lands and environmental resources using UAS technology, the Oneida Indian Nation, which is an indigenous nation of American Indian people whose sacred and sovereign homelands are located in Central New York, has partnered with Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research (NUAIR).

The Nation will leverage NUAIR’s UAS and related technologies, as well as its expertise, to gather and assess data about its lands and environmental resources, mainly from isolated or hard-to-reach areas. The Nation will also use this technology to further implement and enforce programs aimed at protecting these resources.

“The Oneida Indian Nation is fundamentally committed to environmental protection,” says Oneida Indian Nation Representative and Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter.

“Our partnership with NUAIR on this exciting new project will enable the Nation to not only continue but enhance our stewardship of the environment, and to ensure its preservation now and for future generations.”

The Nation will work with NUAIR’s aviation professionals to build the UAS program, specifically on strategic planning, evaluation and continued monitoring. NUAIR’s aviation professionals will also provide their expertise in the training and certification of Nation staff to independently operate the UAS.

“Going from a pickup truck surveying the land from the ground, to being able to deploy a drone and get a more complete aerial view of their land will significantly assist the Oneida Indian Nation’s environmental conservation efforts,” says Mike Hertzendorf, CEO of NUAIR.

“NUAIR, in collaboration with AX Enterprize, Measure and SkyOp, will assist the Nation in developing procedures for safe and effective flights, on-site flight training, Part 107 pilot training, product purchase advisement and more over the next four years.”

According to the Nation, this partnership is a result of a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Indian Environmental General Assistance Program, which the Nation secured last year as a four-year capacity-building project.

Trumbull to scale UAS inspections through new contract from ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil has awarded Trumbull a five-year UAS contract to expand its drone data collection and inspections.

One of the first companies in the U.S. approved to conduct UAS operations, Trumbull has supported ExxonMobil since 2014.

“Trumbull is grateful to serve amazing clients. After conducting data collection and inspections for ExxonMobil in over 25 locations, we are excited to scale operations starting in the Americas,” Trumbull CEO Dyan Gibbens says.

“We look forward to helping ExxonMobil integrate amazing safety, efficiency, and data-driven technology into their operations.”

Based in Houston, Texas, Trumbull conducts tech-enabled inspections and creates 3D models of critical infrastructure in energy and government. With a focus on automation, data, and environmental resilience, the company is a preferred vendor for oil and gas supermajors such as ExxonMobil, as it uses UAS to collect, visualize, and analyze data.

Share your vision-related news by contacting Dennis Scimeca, Associate Editor, Vision Systems Design


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