What type of missions does the UAS program fly?

Listed below are examples of the types of missions for which UAS systems may be deployed. This list is not exhaustive, and other types of missions may be flown provided they follow County and agency policies and are approved by the incident commander or remote Pilot-in-Command.

  • Damage Assessment (natural or man-made event)
    • Structural, flood related, environment, transportation, pipeline breaks, and rail incidents.
    • Enhanced search grids through onboard software.
  • Search and Rescue Missions (individuals, aircraft, vehicles and objects)
    • Search for endangered or critical missing individuals.
    • Provide a large-scale overview of the search area.
    • Identify potential hazards for search teams and vehicles.
    • Allow for limited tracking of search teams in an area.
    • Provide photographic and video capability and analysis.
    • Scene awareness and life safety to identify potential hazards to responders.
  • Fire Scene Management
    • Overflight of structure fires (residential and commercial) by providing a 360-degree view for the incident commander.
    • Aerial management and coordination for large outside fires to help determine the extent of coverage and identify structures, exposures or another infrastructure that may be impacted.
    • Assist in helping account for personnel on the fire ground.
    • Provide real-time aerial video footage of large-scale incidents.
    • Assist in evaluating hazards, structure integrity and helping to ensure scene safety.
  • Fire / Explosives Investigations
    • Assist fire investigators in assessing and documenting fire scenes for an overall scope of the scene.
    • Provide detailed overhead views of large fire scenes from multiple angles and is safer than placing aerial ladders in multiple locations to get aerial photos. This is both a time saving and safety issue. The UAS can also zoom in or fly in to get extreme close-up photos and distant scene photos that would normally require the use of the County Police’s helicopter unit or other aviation assets.
    • Assist Blasting Enforcement Officer in developing requirements for blast site safety zones for commercial blasting projects.
    • Assist in post blast investigations in locating blast scene radius and areas impacted by an explosion.
  • Hazardous Materials
    • Infrared (IR) Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) capabilities of the UAS in tracking flows of hazardous materials on waterways during a hazardous materials incident.
    • Assist with hazard identification and development of safety measures.
    • Provide area reconnaissance information without placing personnel in potentially hazardous locations:
      • Assist in determining hazardous materials involvement.
      • Determine potential run-off/movement of hazardous materials.
      • Ensure area is clear of the public.
  • Urban Search and Rescue (USAR)
    • Assist with area reconnaissance including urban, suburban and rural locations.
    • Assist with personnel tracking and accountability in wide area search.
    • Provide real-time aerial video footage of rescue operations including but not limited to:
      • Trench rescue.
      • Structural collapse
      • Swift water rescue
  • Public Safety
    • Provide aerial mapping support to assist in crash reconstruction.
    • Provide aerial mapping, photographing and analyzing crime scenes.
    • Provide real-time traffic impact assessment and 3D mapping due to vehicle crashes or significant events (such as road backups/alternate routes of travel, weather, or evacuations).
    • Provide real-time situational awareness during managed deer hunts and sharpshooting operations on approved parklands to help provide an additional layer of safety for those involved and surrounding properties and residents.
    • Perimeter security.
  • Dive Team Support
    • Reconnaissance of the area for best access points into the water.
    • Potentially identify the location of a missing vehicle/person (shadows, tire marks).
    • Scene awareness to identify potential hazards to responders.
  • Geospatial Data Acquisition
    • Orthomosaics
    • Elevation Surfaces
    • Digital Surface Models
    • 3D Point Clouds.

Show All Answers

1. What is a drone or UAS?
2. What is the difference in the terms Drone, UAS, and UAV?
3. What type of missions does the UAS program fly?
4. How is my privacy protected?
5. Where is the video and photos taken by the UAS stored?
6. Who has access to the video and photos?
7. What training do UAS pilots undergo?
8. What rules and regulations must Sugar Land Police UAS pilots follow?
9. Why does Sugar Land Police Department use UAS rather than helicopters?
10. Who authorizes the use and deployment of the UAS?
11. What type of drones does the Police Department have?