An interesting report arising out of the natural disaster Colorado is trying to manage:
Falcon UAV (a Colorado manufactured unmanned aerial vehicle) has tried to deploy a hand-launched drone aircraft that can fly for roughly an hour and automatically generate very accurate maps of the ground (see video below). However, FEMA apparently has grounded such operations. There are two sides to every story, of course.
All that can be said at this point (in addition to an expression that conditions improve as quickly as possible for those impacted), is that this apparent dispute highlights the importance of knowing ahead of time what role, if any, remotely piloted vehicles will play in natural disaster recon and relief. Private and government actors no doubt are doing the best they can during this once in 500-year disaster (as it has been described), but energy spent on “red tape” issues are wasteful of resources.