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UAS Finds Lost Hikers
#40111 09/07/14 02:50 PM
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wagga Offline OP
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Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII
Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
wagga #40112 09/07/14 03:42 PM
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This has got to be cheaper than putting even the lowest cost chopper into the air.


Wherever you go, there you are.
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Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
saltydog #40113 09/07/14 04:40 PM
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Oh, absolutely cheaper than manned aircraft, but they are at present unable to bring in the necessary human-power to do the rescue. Perhaps some day they will be able to fly in and pick up the victim, after the technology has matured considerably.

Imagine, after having accidently pressed your Spot SOS button, to have a very large drone appear and announce that it is going to swoop down and carry you to safety. Scary...LOL.

Banned in U.S. national parks, and for good reasons: http://wilderness.org/blog/national-parks-ban-drones

This ought to be an interesting thread.

Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
Bob West #40115 09/07/14 09:20 PM
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There are all sorts of regulations that do not apply in emergencies, or to Agency personnel in the performance of their duties.

For example, helicopters are banned from wilderness. You cannot have more than 15 people in a group on national park/forest trails.

These are routinely ignored by SAR personnel, and that is correct, as it is an allowed exception.

So:

http://www.nps.gov/yose/parknews/use-of-...tional-park.htm

"Specifically, the use of drones within the park boundaries is illegal under all circumstances. Thirty Six CFR 2.17(a)(3) states, -delivering or retrieving a person or object by parachute, helicopter, or other airborne means, except in emergencies involving public safety or serious property loss, or pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit-- is illegal. This applies to drones of all shapes and sizes. "

So, there is absolutely no problem with drones being used by rescue personnel in an emergency, or probably even for training.

Why would the wilderness.org site post such misleading information?

It seems that drones would be highly useful in searching for missing people in the area of Whitney, where the number of locations are few, and a drone can be deployed in many hours less than a hundred people up a mountain.

From the posted article: "Many police forces in Canada operate UAS"

You wonder why an advanced country like the US is behind Canada on something like this?

Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
Ken #40116 09/07/14 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted By: Ken


You wonder why an advanced country like the US is behind Canada on something like this?


Beecause we are paranoid cool


The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
Bee #40119 09/08/14 06:25 AM
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The U.S. is searching for a balance in the use of drones:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/19/politics/fbi-drones/

Remember, only the truly paranoid have anything to worry about...LOL.

Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
Ken #40120 09/08/14 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted By: Ken
There are all sorts of regulations that do not apply in emergencies, or to Agency personnel in the performance of their duties.

For example, helicopters are banned from wilderness. You cannot have more than 15 people in a group on national park/forest trails.

These are routinely ignored by SAR personnel, and that is correct, as it is an allowed exception.

So:

http://www.nps.gov/yose/parknews/use-of-...tional-park.htm

"Specifically, the use of drones within the park boundaries is illegal under all circumstances. Thirty Six CFR 2.17(a)(3) states, -delivering or retrieving a person or object by parachute, helicopter, or other airborne means, except in emergencies involving public safety or serious property loss, or pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit-- is illegal. This applies to drones of all shapes and sizes. "

So, there is absolutely no problem with drones being used by rescue personnel in an emergency, or probably even for training.

Why would the wilderness.org site post such misleading information?

It seems that drones would be highly useful in searching for missing people in the area of Whitney, where the number of locations are few, and a drone can be deployed in many hours less than a hundred people up a mountain.

From the posted article: "Many police forces in Canada operate UAS"

You wonder why an advanced country like the US is behind Canada on something like this?


The key word is visitors...

The ban is for visitors, not park service, emergency providers or other agencies.

"Director Jonathan B. Jarvis signed an order directing park superintendents to ban visitors from using small unmanned aircraft, also known as drones." ...my emphasis.

Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
Bob West #40121 09/08/14 07:56 AM
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So far, I haven't seen one significant regulatory, policy or technical barrier to using these things for search. This is an emergency function, it is not surveillance, and the thing does not have to be capable of the actual extraction to save thousands of dollars and priceless time in the search.


Wherever you go, there you are.
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Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
saltydog #40123 09/08/14 09:13 AM
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I agree that it can be a extremely useful, especially for searches in terrain that is difficult to search by other means. Drones are currently used by government agencies, as well as law enforcement, in the U.S. for different kinds of surveillance.

However, the key factor in any search is time, not dollars. I don't believe that anyone would complain over the cost of saving their life. If drones can speed up the search, then that is all for the good.

However good the drones are now, or will be in the future,it will still take the old-fashioned "boots on the ground" to actually perform a rescue.

Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
saltydog #40124 09/08/14 09:22 AM
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"So far, I haven't seen one significant regulatory, policy or technical barrier to using these things for search. This is an emergency function, it is not surveillance, and the thing does not have to be capable of the actual extraction to save thousands of dollars and priceless time in the search."

I think cost is the barrier. This hasn't been budgeted for, so where does the money come from? Unfortunately, the cheap consumer drones are not usable, because they don't have the range (generally line of sight).

The other end of the spectrum are the Predator-type military drones. I'm not entirely clear on acquisition cost, but I saw a Time article last week that put its operating cost at around $4,000 an HOUR.

Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
Ken #40131 09/08/14 01:23 PM
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Cost? 4k per hour? Not a very useful comparison. A Predator is a high tech plane about the size of a Piper Comanche. I doubt that little Canadian unit was anything like 4k/hr. Maybe 400 But for for comparison what do you think it takes to keep this outfit in the air:



DOn't know what model this is, but the Sikorsky S-92 is a common SAR craft, and that runs about 10k/hour, I understand.


Wherever you go, there you are.
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Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
Ken #40132 09/08/14 01:45 PM
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The purchase price of the Draganfly drone that was used in the Canadian search is about $4,000 (or less on sale).

Here is another article on the SAR, with a video taken from the Draganfly.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/10/431877...d-search-rescue

Tech specs on the device: http://www.draganfly.com/uav-helicopter/draganflyer-x4es/index.php

Last edited by Bob West; 09/08/14 01:50 PM.
Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
Bob West #40135 09/08/14 03:49 PM
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Closer to home...

http://www.avinc.com/public-safety/solution

They have more than a few options.

Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
saltydog #40136 09/08/14 03:53 PM
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Salty,

I was pretty much shocked when someone told me the $9 to 10K/HR. price tag for operating a helicopter. Especially when you consider B727 is about $5K...the last time I talked to someone about their operating cost.

Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
wbtravis #40137 09/08/14 04:28 PM
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The operating costs of helicopters can vary widely, depending on the type being flown. A little Robinson is going to be much, much cheaper to operate than, say, an MH-53 or a Blackhawk. Insurance costs must also be factored into the equation. It really isn't possible to generalize about operating costs of helicopters anymore than that of private automobiles.

Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
Bob West #40140 09/08/14 06:54 PM
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The couple used their phone to call for help.

Most phones have GPS. You can get coordinates off them.

So why send a drone to find the couple? Maybe their cell phone was old, and lacked GPS? Still can triangulate position using cell towers?

Drone seems a bit redundant where there is cell phone coverage.

Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
Akichow #40143 09/08/14 07:55 PM
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In my yacht club, one fellow in the ocean sprung a big leak. He called for help to the Coast Guard. He had GPS on the boat.

His actual location was in the Pacific Ocean, about 5 miles offshore, about 15 miles south of Marina del Rey.

He called on the marine radio, and three times gave his location, which ended up being 3 locations 30 miles apart. His GPS coordinates were for somewhere in Idaho.

He was a very experienced sailor who had sailed around the world.

I don't trust technology.

Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
Ken #40144 09/08/14 07:58 PM
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Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
Ken #40145 09/08/14 08:12 PM
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The Dragonfly, with a ceiling of about 8,000 feet and a distance of about 200m, 20 minute flight time, seems rather limited in it's ability.

The AV seems to have 40 min, although I can't find info on altitude limits or distance.

Re: UAS Finds Lost Hikers
Ken #40153 09/09/14 07:29 AM
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He called in co-ordinates, he could have called in the wrong ones and CG operator could have copied them wrong. This could be a case of human error. Based on that, I could say I do not trust humans.

Airplanes and helicopters are technology. Those who pilot them seem to do a great job flying them. A friend involved in the Lively recovery was amazed at the technical skill of his pilot being able to land on a postage stamp near Consultation Lake. The marriage of skill and technology.

It is very easy to cherry pick failures of technology...like a SPOT saying someone is Hogback Rd. when they are in the Cottonwood Lakes area. On the whole, these advanced or maturing technologies work or our agencies would not use them.

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