NPS launches Unmanned Aerial Vehicle program
The Nevada Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Division (DPS/NHP) announced the implementation of its small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle program (UAV).
A small UAV is an unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds, including payload. This program will be mission specific with the primary role of supporting crash scene investigations under the DPS/NHP Multidisciplinary Investigation and Reconstruction Team (MIRT).
As a public agency, the DPS/NHP has fulfilled all the Federal, State and Local requirements, education and training to safely, securely and legally fly UAV’s in support of Nevadan’s and its visitors. The use of a UAV system will enhance and supplement the DPS/NHP’s ability to investigate crashes, obtain scene information, as well as reducing time at the scene.These benefits allow for better scene safety for first responders, depth of investigations and ultimately faster road openings for traffic and commerce.
To date, the DPS/NHP is the first law enforcement agency in the State of Nevada to place UAV’s and their respective technologies into serviceTo make this capable, the DPS/NHP has collaborated with commercial hardware and software developers. This off-the shelf technology allows the DPS/NHP to synergize current UAV systems that uses specialized commercial software to map scenes from photos and video.
Three UAV’s were obtained through a grant awarded from the DPS Office of Traffic Safety (DPS/OTS). The three UAV’s are assigned to the DPS/NHP commands, located in Elko, Las Vegas and Reno.