Top 5 Apps for Public Safety Drone Pilots - Plus One May 15, 2017

AVARE

 AVARE SECTIONAL CHART APP

 

This app is created by and for manned aviation, but it’s an excellent tool for drone pilots as well. In my travels, I find it invaluable for determining airspace in an unfamiliar area. As shown in the reference picture, I’m on the edge of CLASS E airspace and of course, that means I can use the full 400’ AGL and clear obstructions up to 700’ AGL. The included sectional charts are downloads, so you’ll still have your map in rural areas.
AVARE FOR PUBLIC SAFETY DRONE OPERATIONS
Along with sectional charts, you’ll get nearby airport details, METARS (weather reports), TFR’s (Temporary Flight Restrictions) and NOTAM’s (Notice To Airmen).

Cost – Free

PIX4D CAPTURE

 3D CRIME SCENE MAPPING WITH DRONE


This is a companion app for the PIX4D 3D mapping software. Even so, I highly recommend this app if you own a DJI, Parrot, or 3DR drone.

CRIME SCENE MAPPING WITH DRONE

When arriving to a crime or accident scene, quickly the app will provide an auto-generated autonomous flight plan. Click “START” and your drone will take the requisite number of overlapping pictures to cover the entire scene. Afterwards, the drone lands on its own and you’ll have plenty of pictures for manual photogrammetry. Additionally, should your agency at a later date purchase licenses for PIX4D, you’ll have all the necessary data to create a 3D map of the scene. For those interested in obtaining a trial version of the desktop software, please contact us at ops@maxsur.com


Cost – Free

LITCHI FOR DJI DRONES

 WAYPOINTS FOR DJI DRONES


The big attraction to this app is the waypoint feature (autonomous flight). Waypoint missions allow for precision flight; a must-have when the job is search & rescue. Creating a mission is easy, but also offers granular planning to include speed, altitude, and activity at each waypoint.
WAYPOINT MAPPING FOR SEARCH AND RESCUE WITH DRONES
Beyond the useful waypoint missions, the app comes built-in with object tracking, orbit mode, follow-me mode, course/home lock, dynamic home-point, and more.

Cost - $24.99

 

HOVER

 HOVER DRONE APP


For me, I find the hover app to be most useful for flight logs. If you’re in public safety, keeping track of drone activities is a must, and over the years it will equal bragg’n rights. In the flight log, you can annotate battery usage which is very important considering the finite life of LiPo batteries

HOVER NO FLY ZONE

As a bonus, the Hover app includes local weather with wind and K-index (geo-magnetic activity), and a no-fly zone map.

Cost – Free

QUADCOPTER FX SIMULATOR

 DRONE SIMULATOR


If you’re a new drone pilot, this is a great app to develop your skills. The app includes both manual flight and assisted flight which more closely mimics drones. For training, I highly recommend using the manual flight mode and if you can conquer it… Piloting the real thing will be super easy.

DRONE SIMULATOR FOR SAR

The app also includes some basic drone functions such as home lock, course lock, and return-home. The greatest thing about this app… You can feel free to crash all you want without embarrassment or reporting.

Cost – Free / $4.99

FAA B4UFLY

 FAA B4U FLY APP


If you’re assigned to a patrol of any sort but not a drone pilot, this is a perfect app for you. It was created by the FAA in response to a spike in hobbyist drone incidents. While on the patrol, you can quickly determine if hobbyist drone pilots are operating clear of airports.

POLICE DRONE ENFORCEMENT

According to FAA RC rules (hobbyist rules), they must keep flights five miles away from airports or have previously coordinated with the airport in question. A quick point of caution though, the rules for commercial and public safety operations in which pilots and can legally operate much closer to airports.

Cost - Free

Thanks for reading this post, and I sincerely hope that it aids you in your mission of public safety.  I encourage you to login and make any comments that might assist other agencies in their drone operations. 

Best regards,

 

Jake Lahmann
COO
MAXSUR


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