The Airborne International Response Team, AIRT, has received a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to support public safety programs and the use of emergency drones. AIRT will help public safety programs set standards and training programs, one of the greatest barriers to entry for public safety agencies.
“The grant funding will be used by AIRT’s DRONERESPONDERS program to support the implementation of standard test methodologies for SUAS, developed by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) to objectively assess aircraft capabilities, training for actions to be taken Empowering remote pilots to focus and assisting pilot credentials, ”reads a press release from AIRT.
“We see that many organizations continue to focus on tactics. how to use a particular small unmanned aircraft system and payload for a particular type of scenario. While this is very important, the lack of common operational standards among public safety organizations and emergency services flying SUAS continues to be problematic, especially in major incidents that require interagency assistance, ”said Christopher Todd, Executive Director of AIRT , across from DRONELIFE. “Our partnership with NIST, coupled with the regional reach that this new grant funding will support, will allow us to fill in the gaps by helping to standardize the human factor for remote pilot empowerment. This will help create safer public safety drone operations in the national airspace system. “
Adam Jacoff, Project Leader for NIST’s Emergency Response Robotics Project, explains, “The first step in assessing aircraft capabilities and qualifying remote pilots is to get everyone on the same scale. Standard test methods can play a key role here. Especially for public safety, industrial, commercial and even recreational pilots. All must demonstrate essential maneuvers to maintain positive aircraft control while performing the payload functions necessary to successfully complete the intended tasks. “
“Our joint research and development work with DRONERESPONDERS will validate the tests with drone operators for public safety across the country. It should also facilitate mutual assistance between emergency services deployed in major disasters by allowing an objective measurement and comparison of certain aircraft capabilities with the related capabilities of the remote pilot. The results will help make operational decisions and align expectations while improving overall safety within the national airspace system. “
NIST’s has developed a variety of SUAS tests that can be made from consumables found in most big box hardware stores, and assembled in the field if necessary. DRONERESPONDERS help ensure that interested organizations are able to manufacture the test equipment and conduct test trials correctly so that the resulting performance values can be used by each organization to determine minimum thresholds for proficiency based on the aircraft they choose, the airspace and the complexity of the mission as well as the environment to select conditions under which they wish to deploy.
“The standard test methods for sUAS developed by NIST are the most applicable and user-friendly mechanism that we have seen to assess the basic knowledge of remote pilots in the field of public safety in accordance with the capabilities of their UAS systems,” said Chief Charles Werner (ret.) . ), Director of DRONERESPONDERS. “Our focus now will be on helping public safety agencies across the country understand and adopt the NIST tests.”
Katie Thielmeyer, UAS Program Manager and Fireman / Paramedic with the Woodlawn, Ohio Fire Department will lead the project for DRONERESPONDERS.
“I am very excited to expand my role at DRONERSPONDERS and to work closely with the NIST team to have a positive impact on the UAS public safety sector,” said Thielmeyer. “This new partnership will benefit public safety and emergency services organizations at all levels that operate Drones For Good ™.”
For more information on the NIST standard test methods for SUAS, see: http://nist.droneresponders.org
Miriam McNabb is editor-in-chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a marketplace for professional drone services, and a fascinating observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Author of over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space, Miriam is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high-tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For advice or writing in the drone industry, email Miriam.
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