Drones for Disaster Response on the Drone Radio Show

Chris Sanders is Senior Manager for Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team.  The Crisis Response Team is a national, rapid deploy, professionally trained team who solve routine and complex communication challenges in all environments. This team of multi-disciplinary provide on-demand emergency assistance to government agencies, first responders, frontline workers and communities—to help maintain mission-critical communications.

Chris is the Verizon Frontline Senior Manager for Crisis Response for Georgia and Alabama, as well as the developer and leader of the crisis response UAS team.  He draws upon his experience from ten years on active duty in the United States Army where he served as a tactical air traffic control operator and senior noncommissioned officer to provide a calm demeanor during times of crisis. His experience also includes several years of work in the UAS industry working on mapping, photogrammetry, LiDAR, and beyond visual line of sight operations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in unmanned systems and robotics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Master’s degree in Geographical Information Systems and cartography from The University of Southern California.

Earlier this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Verizon Frontline have signed a three-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to explore new strategies to rapidly deploy uncrewed aircraft systems to collect and distribute imagery of damage resulting from severe storms such as tornadoes or hurricanes.

As part of this partnership, the Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team will provide the uncrewed aircraft system platform, sensor, and personnel resources needed to rapidly respond and collect aerial imagery of storm-damaged areas of interest identified by NOAA.

The goal is to enhance the ability of NOAA’s National Weather Service offices to quickly conduct post-storm damage assessments, while also providing data for research conducted by the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory. This data will be used to help researchers better understand tornado behavior and impacts with a goal of improving warnings.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Chris talks about the Verizon Frontline Crises Response Team, the partnership with NOAA and how systematic data collection can aide local communities in redeveloping after a disaster.

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