DroneUp, a mobile application connecting drone pilots with search and rescue opportunities, has received guidance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to coordinate directly with local officials to deploy , in the Hurricane Harvey impact areas effective today.
DroneUp will support search and rescue operations by pairing certified and qualified volunteer unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) pilots with missions that have been identified by emergency management personnel, as well as by local residents and commercial operations. The platform allows pilots to engage in mission communication using real-time voice, chat or text. Pilots can upload mission images or video that can be relayed to authorities and first responders directing SAR operations in the impact zones.
“After seeing the devastation and loss suffered by these communities, we are eager to leverage DroneUp with the high interest of volunteer pilots to help bring assistance and relief to those who have lost so much,” said Tom Walker, DroneUp CEO, who is heading to Texas to manage the DroneUp implementation. “The platform was developed to provide support in the case of natural or man-made disasters, and we believe it will be extremely helpful.”
Developed by Dart Ventures LLC, DroneUp was already in development and was set to launch publicly in Fall 2017, but the devastation from Harvey on Texas presented a real need for this platform – the first in the drone industry.
DroneUp also is allowing private citizens and commercial operations to post their needs DroneUp will identify an available pilot to respond as quickly as possible. An estimated 300 pilots in the Houston area have registered on DroneUp since its launch on August 26, with more being added hourly.
“We need more pilots,” says Walker. “Please tell your friends, family, and neighbors who own a drone. We anticipate the possibility of having more missions than we have pilots to fulfill them.”
Interested subscribers can download the free app at www.droneup.com or download in the Apple store and Google Play.