Whether it was the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that crashed on the front lawn of the White House, the drones that buzzed critical infrastructure or all the discussion about the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) proposed rules to regulate the commercialization of drones, everyone most likely has an opinion on this controversial topic. To some people’s dismay, and other’s applause, the FAA’s announcement of 6 UAV test sites guarantees progression of the technology, and ensures a place for it in the future of the US economy.
While privacy and safety concerns lead the fight against the developing equipment, the ability to have a rapidly deployable eye-in-the-sky can provide vital assistance to first responders in emergency and disaster responses — providing unprecedented situational awareness to those making decisions and allocating the limited assets available. The eye-in-the-sky component is just the beginning; as more technology is developed and integrated, UAV platforms will be capable of providing even more situational awareness to those who need it most.
Situational awareness in a time of need
Whether it’s a natural disaster or an emergency search and rescue operation, UAVs have and will increasingly continue to lend a helping hand. Anyone who has ever been involved in an emergency response knows that information is key to being efficient and effective with the limited resources available. If one were to analyze the information needed to make a decision, two things stand out among everything else: accuracy and timing.
Read the complete report in the April/May issue of Homeland Security Today.
Marcus Tooker is the Field Operations Manager at Avwatch, Inc., a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) that harnesses innovative and proven technologies to support, enhance, and train Federal, state and local government agencies in support of homeland security and disaster recovery. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.