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September 08, 2005

Unmanned Planes Survey New Orleans Damage


'Tiny, unmanned surveillance planes are being pressed into action for reconnaissance over Katrina-ravaged New Orleans in what defense contractors call the biggest civilian deployment ever for the technology.

Ten of the unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, have been taking turns this week flying from the New Orleans Naval Air Station and relaying photos of the devastation below to the Air Force.

The original mission for these UAVs -- a new class known as the Evolution, an upgrade over the 4-pound Dragon Eye reconnaissance drones used in Iraq -- was to help in searching for stranded hurricane survivors.

But now the planes mainly are being used to assess damage to oil and gas distribution, dikes, berms and other aspects of the region's infrastructure, said Alfred Lumpkin, director of operations for ISR Group LLC, which is providing logistical support for the planes' maker, L-3 Communications Corp.'

Read more at Unmanned Planes Survey New Orleans Damage

Posted by Darren at September 8, 2005 10:02 PM | More from UAV News |