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Diyguy

Would small UAV's have made a difference?

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Can't help but wonder if smaller, affordable, UAV's would have made a difference in the Gulf Coast area with search activity. Seems like there are two kinds, the small .60 or so DIY jobs we build, and the multi-million $ Predators. Maybe there are some things in between, I don't know of. I recall the USMC was trying out a small battlefield model awhile back. Just seems like local authorities could sure use them and could be a lucrative business for someone. E.g., What could be offered in the $1-5000 range in terms of platform and equipment? No, I'm not planning on starting a business, just wondering what could be offered that would do a job. For instance, what kind of range would a local police force need? How much 'time on station' to be of practical benefit? What kind of video, audio requirements? Interesting mental exercise, I think.

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I think if manned heli's are there in force, you can't beat em with a UAV. Using a simple established method (manned heli) is much more effective for search and rescue operations in a non-combative enviornment.

my $0.02

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Whichever, airplane or heli, would need to be equipped with IR to find people. Human life is what it was all about down there.

Those people on roofs and in the water and in trees were the ones who needed rescued. During the daytime people inside attics would more then likely not been visible on IR as the dark roof would be hot from the sun and bloomed them out.

Matt

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Interesting that you would mention that.....

We (at RPFlight Systems) were on stand-by with Task Force One to go in behind both Katrina and the just recently, Rita. With Katrina, we ran into the red tape of ignorance with the command center because the area was considered a "no fly" zone and they didn't want any other aircraft in the zone but the rescue choppers. They didn't have the time to learn about a 3-4 lb foam aircraft that could cover large areas and help them direct the operations. So they ended up with 5 choppers converging on the same house to rescue someone.......

The Florida folks didn't fare much better either. They got within three miles of New Orleans and were turned back. They never flew a mission either. They ended up going back to Mississippi and flew a couple there for CNN and got some good coverage, but were largely ineffective.

With Rita, everyone did such a good job of evacuating there was little else to do but mop up. As of Saturday morning there were over 600 trained rescuers coolin' their jets in the Reliant Center in Houston with no one to rescue. So we were told to "stand down".

We still have some educating to do, but soon we WILL make a difference.

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