$100 pledged of $25,000 goal
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By Jason Hohman
$100 pledged of $25,000 goal
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About this project

My goal on this project is to set up the smallest possible drone deployable search and rescue platform with infrared cameras that an individual can operate.  An additional volunteer or two can also be integrated to assist if available. 

The deployable platform I envision would include a sUAS (drone) with a infrared camera with the capability of a 30-40 min uninterrupted flight. The drone would have first person view cameras to help assist in navigation as well as infrared cameras.  This video would then be stored for further analyzing or ultimately be sent to the ground base station of the S&R team with a live feed. The platform would need its own base station capability in case the base station is too far to receive a live feed or is not equipped to take a live feed transmission.  The base station would include but not be limited to a laptop, radio communication gear, video gear, a first aid station, and additional supplies to help in an emergency. Each program will also need insurance to cover any unexpected loss. 

The FAA, at this point in time, does not allow the dropping of anything from a drone.  I would, however, request a waiver for this type of operation to be able to drop a emergency packet of supplies to stranded individual or individuals.  The main S&R team in charge would be able to determine on a case by case basis whether a drop of supplies would be warranted for the operation.

After the initial platform has been setup and has been determined to be an effective tool to assist a S&R team a secondary goal of researching how to integrate multiple teams of individual drone operators that can assist even better with more coverage when and if available.

Risks and challenges

The main hurdle I have found during research for this type of drone deployed assistance is S&R crews have a limited amount of funds to achieve their goals. Right now there are grants that will give room for a S&R team to purchase up to $40,000 or more worth of equipment to start these programs, however, there is a shortage of experienced remote pilots in their existing staff to volunteer to set up a program and fly. This equipment would also be set per station so each individual S&R department would each have their own programs.
I believe that the cost of an effective platform can be a lot cheaper than what would be required for a S&R team to add to an existing program. Most certified sUAS pilots I know have many of the items required to set up a program of their own already. Also a pilot who is willing to volunteer who then gets the additional equipment to deploy and assist eliminates the challenge of finding a qualified pilot within the S&R team.
I also envision each drone S&R platform would be able to service any S&R base in any area to again save cost and spread experience throughout the region more effectively.
I currently am a FAA certified sUAS pilot with my part 107. I have additionally gone to Colorado to train with the Unmanned Expert team. I also am collaborating with the Bolder Colorado volunteer S&R drone team learning best practices and effective means to expand drone usage in S&R.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A photo of crew with drone and equipment

    A photo of crew with all equipment with Mt. Hood in the backdrop. There will also be included a short description of equipment used, operations utilized, and a itinerary of crew's activities. This content will be offered exclusively to the reward earners via a DropBox download.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Video of an S&R training mission.

    A video copy of the infrared images used to preform a S&R training mission on Mt.Hood.
    This will include any infrared images, video, and a short detailed description of the progress and meaning of images/video. This content will be offered exclusively to the reward earners via a DropBox download.
    Reward #3 also included.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Video of the 1st successful S&R assist.

    A video copy of the infrared images used to successfully assist in a S&R operation.
    This will include any infrared images, video, and a short detailed description of the progress and meaning of images/video. This content will be offered exclusively to the reward earners via a DropBox download.
    Reward #2 & #3 also included.

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Funding period

- (60 days)