Search and Rescue Drones

In 2018, I took an interest in drone design and operation, particularly drones used for Search and Rescue (SAR.) I started by building a basic quadcopter for personal use. I later assisted in maintaining and testing drones for the Search and Rescue program with the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Department.  While I didn’t apply for the training and security clearance required to go on actual SAR missions, I attended SAR meetings and skill courses, including the 2019 Eastern Oregon Search and Rescue regional training camp. I also obtained a FEMA Introduction to the Incident Command System certificate.

Skills developed:

  • Technical problem-solving and troubleshooting
  • A review of basic electronics skills
  • Using Mission Planner to set flight plans, monitor flight data, and analyze post-flight data logs
  • Operating unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) using a remote
  • Knowledge of FEMA’s Incident Command System
  • Searching aerial images for signs of missing persons