Tropical Storm Cindy: Best Practices and Regulations for Agencies Using Small UAS

As Tropical Storm Cindy brings rain and flooding to the Gulf Coast, it’s a good time to share the two “one-pagers” that the Roboticists Without Borders small UAS team members have put together.  We have several flyers on stand-by with small UAS ready to deploy upon request.

Here are two one-pagers that may be of use to responders:

http://tinyurl.com/crasar-1page-SUAS-regs  is a one-page guide to who can fly for an agency and where they can fly (and how they can easily tell using airmap.io where they are allowed to fly). This is aimed for emergency managers who haven’t worked with SUAS before and have heard the FAA regulations are daunting- but the rules are much simpler and permissions can be gotten within 1-2 hours if needed.

http://tinyurl.com/crasar-1page-SUAS-floods is a one-page compendium of the missions that SUAS can be used for before, during, and after the flooding. It also discusses imagery post-processing and the other important considerations (coverage, manpower, software, data management). This is based on our experiences with flooding and storm surges since 2005 and especially reinforced by our recent deployments with Fort Bend County, Texas, and with Tangipahoa and Washington Parishes, Louisiana, last year. A preprint of our 2016 paper detailing the case studies of the Fort Bend County floods is here (IEEE SSRR 2016) and the official paper is here.

We hope for the best for everyone in the path of the storm.

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