Florida Workshop Will Focus on Drones and Hurricanes

With hurricane season approaching, Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay Campus is testing drones to help save time and lives amid disaster.

On July 14, the FlU Academy for International Disaster Preparedness will partner with local first responders and drone company Airborne Response to conduct UAS exercises in coordination with marine, land and other aviation assets.

“Exercises will include a comprehensive disaster camp with mobile command posts from participating agencies, helicopter air rescue assets, maritime assets, and UAS/drones operating around the exercise area,” an FIU announcement stated.

In May, Airborne, a provider of high resolution aerial imagery for emergency management and disaster response operations, expanded its fleet of FAA-certified remote pilots for commercial and emergency UAS/drone operations across the U.S.

“Last year established a baseline for demonstrating the practical use of unmanned aircraft systems for disaster response and recovery operations,” Airborne Response President Christopher Todd stated in a previous report.

Hurricane operations is one of the latest in a long line of UAV applications for public-safety agencies and commercial interests.

AT&T deployed drones following devastating hurricanes in Puerto Rico, The company’s Flying COWs (Cell on Wings) reconnected hurricane-stricken victims with wireless service. According to a recent company release, a newer model of the Flying COW can “see through obstacles, fly through rain, operate in extreme temperatures and communicate in areas without infrastructure.”

Embry-Riddle University assisted the Daytona Beach Police Department in damage assessment following Hurricane Irma. A trio of aviation professors launched drones to photograph damages and document areas hit the hardest.

Following Hurricane Harvey and Irma in 2017, the FAA acknowledged that UAS assistance proved to be a “landmark in the evolution of drone usage.” “After the widespread devastation Hurricane Irma wreaked on Florida, unmanned aircraft – more popularly, drones – have been invaluable in supporting response and recovery efforts in the battered Sunshine State,” an agency release stated. In the wake of Irma, the agency issued 132 flight authorizations within a week.   After Harvey slammed Houston, the FAA issued 137 more authorizations to pilots.

Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.

Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content. He has won several media awards over the years and has since expanded his expertise into the organizational and educational communications sphere.

In addition to his proficiency in the field of editing and writing, Jason has also taught communications at the university level and continues to lead seminars and training sessions in the areas of media relations, editing/writing and social media engagement.

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