Nevada's Washoe County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Program has received a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) to use Drone America's DAx8 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to test how the new technology can assist in emergencies.
According to Reno, Nev.-based Drone America, the COA gives the county the go-ahead to work with the region's first-responder agencies – fire services, search and rescue, and damage assessment – to conduct a proof of concept and explore how UAVs can save lives and protect property.
The DAx8 will be flown under 400 feet in altitude in specific areas in Reno. Drone America recently integrated its small UAVs with Airware's new autonomous flight control system, the Aerial Information Platform.
Drone America acknowledges the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Partnership for Innovation Program for its support of the efforts to develop UAS for first response.
The NSF project is led by principal investigator Dr. Kam K. Leang, associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Utah, who is also working with colleagues at the University of Nevada, Reno, and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to help Drone America with the first-response efforts.