One of the latest tools in the ISCN arsenal is the addition of a DJI Mavic Pro drone. The Mavic Pro is one of the most technologically advanced quadcopters available, and is capable of 25+ minute flight times, 40mph speed, and 4+ mile flight distance from the controller. It feeds real-time HD video back to the controller, and can be set up and deployed in under two minutes. (Pics and sample video coming soon)
Anticipated uses for the aerial camera include:
Assisting emergency responders by showing them the “Big Picture” type and extent of tornado/storm damage, allowing them to determine where to concentrate their rescue efforts. It is MUCH faster and safer to do a quick aerial circuit, since it is unimpeded by downed trees, debris, or downed power lines. Aerial survey of the immediate area and surrounding fields for injured people who may not be visible from the road.
Assist rescue crews in locating people who are on roofs, in trees, or on top of their cars. Ability to fly over and see if a flooded car is occupied before sending out a rescue crew needlessly to investigate.
Documentation of severe weather damage for distribution to digital media and news outlets. We will likely do live-streaming directly from the drone when appropriate and possible. We are excited about the opportunities.
We look forward to using the quadcopter creatively, as it literally adds a third dimension to our videography and allows us to shoot pics and video from angles which were formerly impossible to attain.
Q. Aren’t you supposed to have a license to use a drone for commercial use?
A. It is our intention to conduct flight operations in full compliance with CFR 14 part 107, with the pilot in command holding an FAA issued sUAS remote pilot license.
Q. Are you going to fly that into a tornado?
A. No. Doing so would have no scientific value and the drone would likely be disabled or destroyed as soon as it entered the tornado’s outer circulation.
Q. Will you fly it in bad weather?
A. Possibly, if it’s appropriate to do so, and as long as it can be safely flown within legal parameters regarding ceiling and visibility, etc. We will not be able to fly in the rain, fog, or extremely gusty/windy conditions.