SkyTec uses drones for search and rescue efforts

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — There is technology in Chattanooga that is helping with search and rescue efforts.

SkyTec LLC started more than two years ago. The company operates military grade drones that help in search efforts. Bill Rogers, CEO of SkyTec, started the company because he always gravitated towards technology.

“So, it was fascinating seeing drones flying around the sky. I became very inquisitive about their capabilities and formed a partnership with a friend of mine and started the business,” Rogers said.

There are lots of different options for drones, but Rogers knew what he wanted it to be.

“My partner and I decided we are going to go for the highest end and best use possible, which we determined was things like inspection or mapping or any kind of search and rescue, emergency response,” Rogers said.

The company has been involved in a couple of search and rescue efforts. They went out to help in the search for Jackson Standefer.

“We have been involved a couple of times on local rivers and recently tried to go out on the Grand Canyon and assist the National Park Service and the family in a search and rescue. The problem is the federal law prohibits commercial operators, private citizens, etcetera being involved in search and rescue,” Rogers said.

Rogers would like to see those laws change.

“We are getting very close to doing what man aircraft can do. In other words our equipment is pretty sophisticated so it can operate in all sorts of weather conditions,” he said.

There are a lot of options for the drones they use.

“We can put a camera on it, use the camera. We can have a live view in search and rescue. We can land the aircraft. We can put on a thermal sensor,” Rogers said.

Drones are rapidly changing.

“So every single week a new aircraft and a new censor and a new capability is coming along. It is changing that quickly.”

SkyTec officials say at the end of the summer they will have access to a helicopter, which will carry multiple sensors at once.

Categories: Chattanooga, Local News

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