by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M Crosby

NASA has announced the formation of a partnership with DRONERESPONDERS for the research and development of automated safety processes and procedures that will allow for highly automated aviation response in the national airspace.

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DRONERESPONDERS is a non-profit program made up of specialized teams of experts in fields including aviation, emergency management and public safety, each trained to carry out tasks across the preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery phases of significant events, complex emergencies, and major disasters.

The partnership will see DRONERESPONDERS share its extensive breadth of gathered operational expertise and data with NASA. Working alongside DRONERESPONDERS, NASA’s System-Wide Safety (SWS) researchers will leverage this data in order to develop a safety management system that allows for highly automated flights in emergency response operations, as well as to establish a demonstration of highly automated aerospace vehicle safety management systems with applications outside the scope of emergency response.

“NASA is working to provide immediate benefit to society by improving the national response to disasters. We are also hoping to learn from these operations to enable innovative aviation operations in the future,” said NASA’s System-Wide Safety Project Manager, Misty Davies. “As more innovative, and increasingly autonomous air vehicles enter the airspace, coordination and automation of safety monitoring, assessment, and mitigation will be critical to maintain or even improve on aviation’s safety performance. We know this wouldn’t be possible without the help of public safety experts like DRONERESPONDERS engaged at the start of NASA’s research and planning.”

“Our team is excited to partner with NASA,” said Charles Werner, founder, and director of DRONERESPONDERS and a retired fire chief. “It gives us the opportunity to be a part of new technology that advances public safety.”

The goal of the three-year partnership is to gather safety metrics to identify patterns and common risks, along with proposed solutions to prevent or lessen the impact of the hazards; review DRONERESPONDERS training exercises and recommend potential integration for NASA-developed techniques and processes; and apply knowledge gained during the data collection and analysis to prepare In-Time Aviation Safety Management System (IASMS) implementations for use cases that can enable more rapid operational response for emergency operations.

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Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.

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