Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

USF Mini-Helicopters Return To Katrina

The Like90 mini-helicopter

New Orleans LA (SPX) Nov 22, 2005
With funding from the National Science Foundation, a team from USF's Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR) will return to sites in Hurricane Katrina's destructive path.

Armed with the miniature helicopters the team used on-site in the aftermath of Katrina to carry out aerial surveillance of the damage, they are returning to address two research objectives.

"Our first objective is to provide photo-documentation of multi-story commercial structures along the Mississippi Gulf Coast that can be used by the structural engineering community," said CRASAR director Robin Murphy.

"The second objective is to develop the payloads and procedures needed to foster the effective use of helicopters by the larger engineering community, including structural engineers during the response and recovery, and for use by insurance adjusters."

During the initial Hurricane Katrina response, the CRASAR team surveyed damage using the battery-powered miniature helicopter provided by Like90 (see attachment) that can operate up to 300 feet in the air and in a 0.25 mile radius. The Like90 platform will be taken back in the field with improved optics.

In addition to these two objectives, the CRASAR team will be collecting data on team performance and will experiment with new optic and range sensors that may support autonomous operation of the helicopters during night operations.

"Our return to Katrina is for research, but the return could have immediate practical benefits," explained Murphy, who speculates that inexpensive miniature helicopters designed specifically for structural disasters will likely become commercially available in time for next year's hurricane season.

"Their use could radically change how structural assessment is conducted during a disaster as well as speed up the claims adjustment process, accelerating economic relief to survivors and facilitating faster economic redevelopment."

Clicking on here demonstrates how the helicopters can access structures and bridges that may be impossible for structural engineers to reach because of damage or lack of access where entry may pose risks to engineers.

"Video obtained by the mini-helicopters can provide views difficult to achieve otherwise and help identify points of building structural failure," explained Murphy.

With infrastructure support from the Emergency Operation Center in Kiln, MS and Jackson State University's National Center for Biodefense Communications (NCBC) and using the Internet, the CRASAR team will post data nightly to a volunteer structural advisory board (SAB) of leading structural specialists from across the nation and a nightly internet teleconference will be held with the SAB to review findings, identify improvements, determine the critical data and provide general feedback.

Members of the media will be able to embed with the CRASAR team Dec. 2-4. However, the team may depart early if the mission is completed early. B-roll will be provided. The team will be based out of EOC in Kiln, MS on the Mississippi-Louisiana border and operate in Biloxi and Gulfport.

The team consists of Murphy, principal research scientist; Sam Stover, Executive Director of the USF Safety Security Rescue Research Center (SSR-RC is an NSF industry/university cooperative research center); Chandler Griffin, CEO of Like90, and industry member of the SSR-RC who flew mini-helicopters after Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma; and Kevin Pratt, a graduate student who assisted with the helicopter deployment after Wilma.

Murphy will serve as the principal scientist, Stover as safety officer and US&R operations advisor, Griffin as primary pilot and Pratt will serve as backup pilot and science support.

The research is sponsored by the NSF in partnership with Jackson State University's National Center for Biodefense Communications and NSF's Safety Security Rescue Research Center.

Related Links
Search SpaceDaily
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express

A Successful First Flight With FILUR UAV
Sweden (SPX) Nov 22, 2005
Saab and FMV's technology demonstrator program FILUR has successfully made its first flight and the test results are now being evaluated in order to be able to optimize flight performance for future flights.

  • India And China Must Avoid Mutual Paranoia: Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew
  • All Is Not Well In Sino-US Ties: Analysts
  • Analysis: American Dynastic Diplomacy
  • Hu Says Stronger China Means Peace, Stability

  • Blair Warns Iran's Nuke Program Could Threaten 'World Stability'
  • US Hopes Russia Can Help Iran Off 'Dangerous' Course: Ambassador
  • N.Korea Aids Iran Nukes
  • US, EU To Delay Security Council Call Over Iran: Diplomats

  • US Discussing Missile Defense Site In Europe With Poland
  • Italy, ATK And U.S. Navy Sign MoU For AARGM Missile Development
  • Raytheon Receives $1.3Bn Contract Modification For JLENS Development
  • AquaCell Helps To Keep The Missile Factory Clean

  • Lockheed Martin Team Launches Second Target Missile For AEGIS Test
  • Raytheon Standard Missile-3 Intercepts Ballistic Missile Target
  • Computer Sciences Books Another $243M In Missile Defense IT Support Contracts
  • Koizumi Pushes Patriots As Defense Against Missile Attack

  • New Wind Tunnel Aimed At Making Airplanes Quieter To Those On Ground
  • L-3 Communications' SPAR Aerospace Launches Herc 2020
  • NASA Wants Planes Seen, Not Heard
  • Airbus V. Boeing: War Over The World's Sky

  • USF Mini-Helicopters Return To Katrina
  • A Successful First Flight With FILUR UAV
  • Raven Industries Announces Five-Hour Flight Of 'HiSentinel' Powered Stratospheric Airship
  • UAV "Seeker" Makes Emergency Landing

  • Iraq Troop Withdrawals Driven By Politics
  • US Senator Offers Plan For Gradual Withdrawal Of Troops From Iraq
  • Rumsfeld Calls For Substantive, Mindful Iraq Debate
  • Cheney Defends War In New Speech

  • NGC Gets Another $558 Million Dollars For Next Aircraft Carrier Design
  • Raytheon To Reduce Cost Of Fratricide Avoidance System
  • France, Italy Sign Multi-Billion-Euro Frigate Deal
  • EADS To Supply Digital Map Generators For Eurofighter And Tornado

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement