drones

Drones are increasingly being used to study the effects of wildfires. This drone is collecting data from a large prescribed burn earlier this year at the Fishlake National Forest in Utah.
Desert Research Institute

From more intense wildfires to prolonged droughts, climate change is impacting the ecology of the American West. That’s got researchers in our region looking at a new way to fight some of these impacts: drones.

Noah Glick

These days, drones are everywhere--from the ones you can buy at your local Costco to news drones giving birds' eye views of sporting events. Soon, you'll even be able to get your Amazon deliveries with the company's "Prime Air" drone fleet.

Pexels

The Nevada Institute of Autonomous Systems or NIAS has launched a new center focusing on education revolving the use of drones. KUNR's Stephanie Serrano has more.

Nevada has a new partner in the development of unmanned aerial vehicles — the Canadian province of Alberta. Our contributor Kaleb Roedel of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly reports.

Reno Will Deliver Medical Devices By Drone

May 9, 2018
A Flirtey drone flies during a test
Flirtey/CC 3.0

Reno will soon see the use of commercial drones to deliver medical devices. The biggest little city will take part in a nationwide pilot program meant to test out the use of commercial drones -- think drones delivering packages. 

Flirtey, REMSA

A Reno-based company will be launching the nation’s first drone defibrillator delivery service to increase the dismal odds of surviving a cardiac arrest. The survival rate is about one in 10. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports.

Tahoe Drone Rules Remain Murky

Jun 13, 2017
Courtesy of Brad Scott Visuals

Drone use is on the rise in the Tahoe Basin, but the regulations remain murky for flying unmanned aircrafts on land owned by the U.S. Forest Service, along with state parks in Nevada and California. Our contributor Brook Bentley reports.

There are some blanket rules across the U.S. about using drones. They include flying at or below 400 feet, staying at least 5 miles away from airports, and never flying near response efforts for emergencies like wildfires.

University of Nevada, Reno NAASIC

A partnership between The Boeing Company’s unmanned aircraft systems design team, Insitu, and the University of Nevada, Reno could help improve the way drones fly. Reno Public Radio’s Marcus Lavergne has more.

Flirtey, 7-Eleven

A Nevada-based drone startup has teamed up with convenience chain 7-Eleven to make the first-ever Slurpee delivery to a private residence in Reno, a tasty milestone for unmanned autonomous systems.

New Drone Regulations Good News For Nevada

Jun 27, 2016
Courtesy Drone America

The Federal Aviation Administration released its new regulations for drones this month, much to the excitement of Nevada companies. The new regulations open up air space for drones and lift onerous requirements around who can fly the unmanned aircraft. 

Washoe County Sheriff's Office

While fighting the Hawken Fire in south Reno this week, a helicopter for the Regional Aviation Enforcement Unit, or RAVEN, was almost hit by a drone. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke to the pilot to learn more about the scare. 

Doug Russell with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, which runs the RAVEN unit, was flying at nearly 90 miles per hour when a drone came within 50 feet of his aircraft.

 

The goal of search and rescue is to find a missing person quickly. Drones have the potential to help. But as Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports laws are limiting their uses for public safety.

 

A personal tragedy at a Tahoe ski resort this past winter is spurring one family to advocate for advanced technology in search and rescue. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray explores how drones could offer a solution.

On a bluebird day in mid-January, brothers Carson and Wyndham May, both ski instructors at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, had a day off to enjoy one of their favorite activities. This is what Wyndham, the younger brother, remembers:

 

First responders and drone experts gathered in downtown Reno for the first ever symposium on using drones in search and rescue. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray was there.

 

Using unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, in search and rescue is fairly new in the United States.

 

Warren Rapp is with Nevada Advanced Autonomous Systems Innovation Center, which is hosting the three-day event. Rapp says the potential for using drones in emergencies hasn’t yet been fully realized.

 

Kevin Carman (left) visits with Warren "Bum" Rapp in the KUNR studios.
KUNR

The subject of drones is a hot topic in the news, and Nevada is a hotbed of activity.

With the Silver State selected as one of just six U.S. drone-testing sites—and the only site chosen as an entire state and not just a single location—the university is a catalyst and collaborator for developing drones and other advanced autonomous systems.

Researchers Testing Cloud Seeding With Drones

Mar 16, 2016
Julia Ritchey

A month after researchers conducted a cloud-seeding test using unmanned aircraft, a Reno-based drone company is building the next generation. As Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports, the project hopes to bring cloud seeding into the 21st century.

Inside the shop at Drone America, design engineer Kyle Pruett is showing off their plans for a new unmanned, fixed-wing aircraft called the Savant.

Kevin Clifford / Drone America

The Desert Research Institute has successfully tested an unmanned drone flight that could help lessen the impact of drought. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick breaks down what that means.

 

Cloud seeding is a practice in which tiny amounts of ice crystals and chemicals are released into the atmosphere to promote more moisture and precipitation during storms. 

Adam Watts is with the DRI and led the project team, which equipped an unmanned aircraft with a cloud seeding payload. He says drones can be an effective supplement to traditional ground and aerial efforts.

Don McCullough / creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

New federal drone regulations took effect last week, meaning all personal drones need to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

If you’re one of the lucky people who got a recreational drone for the holidays, you’ve got to do more than thank Santa. You’ve got to get it registered—or else face fines and possibly jail time.

Drone America

Our series Putting Out The Fire has been exploring new ways of fighting and preventing devastating wildfires, which are a major threat to Nevada and California during this fourth year of drought. In this segment, Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss explores how high-tech cameras and drones are rewriting the rules of firefighting.

Mike Richards is CEO of Drone America, a small company on the forefront of changing how emergency responders can fight fires. He likens the drones of tomorrow to comic-book superheroes of the past.  

Restricting Drones During Fires

Aug 11, 2015

Flying drones during a fire can get in the way of firefighting efforts. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports people flying unmanned aircraft systems during emergencies could face federal action.

Last month, firefighting planes were grounded as they were trying to put out a blaze which swept across a highway in Southern California. The reason: to avoid colliding with several drones spotted in the area.

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