DOI UAS News & Media

Department of the Interior Press Releases on UAS

2021

March 12, 2021 - Guidance Memo: UAS Flights for Emergency Operations and Training: Amended Guidance under Secretary’s Order 3379

January 19, 2021 - AS PMB Memo - Restoring OAS Authority to Procure Blue sUAS

2020

October 6, 2020 - Important Update on Secretary's Order 3379 and Blue Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

January 29, 2020 - S.O. 3379 - Temporary Cessation of Non-Emergency Unmanned Aircraft Systems Fleet Operations

January 29, 2020 - Secretary Bernhardt Signs Order Grounding Interior's Drone Fleet for Non-Emergency Operations

2019

October 10, 2019 - Changes in DOI Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Acquisition

February 14, 2019 - FAA Makes Major Drone ID Marking Change

2018

September 19, 2018 - DOI and FAA Collaborate on Expanded Blanket Area sUAS Class G Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA)

August 20, 2018 - DOI UAS in Aerial Ignition - Aggressively Managing Fuels With Enhanced Efficiency and Safety

May 31, 2018 - DOI UAS Teams Supporting Volcano Monitoring & Emergency Response / Rescue

May 15, 2018 - Interior Awards First Contract for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Services

March 13, 2018 - Interior Expands Capabilities with Vertical Take Off and Landing Fixed Wing Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

February 21, 2018 - Interior Announces 2017 Drone Mission Report

February 21, 2018 - Using Drones on Wildfires Info-graphic

2017

June 9, 2017 - Interior Expands Information Sharing Initiative to Prevent Drone Incursions over Wildland Fires

2016

August 16, 2016 - U.S. Department of the Interior Awards Contract for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

July 25, 2016 - As Wildfire Season Continues to Heat up, Interior Partners with Industry to Eliminate Drone Intrusions

DOI UAS News

2019

October 8, 2019 - Microsoft takes to the skies with UAS program for DOI

DOI UAS Videos

Video items previously listed in this section have been re-located to our DOI UAS Videos page, additionally some videos may be listed on our external news page if they were part of a news story, please visit DOI UAS in the News.

2019

September 5, 2019 - OAS Flight Testing of UAS Based Water Sampling Capability in Support of Bureau Requirements - Improved Sensing, Safety, Savings, & Service

August 30, 2019 - Sheridan Fire UAS Aerial Ignition Videos
Sheridan Fire UAS Aerial Ignition Video 1
Sheridan Fire UAS Aerial Ignition Video 2
Sheridan Fire UAS Aerial Ignition Video 3
Sheridan Fire UAS Aerial Ignition Video 4
Sheridan Fire UAS Aerial Ignition Video 5

July 12, 2019 - Compilation of 2014 and 2015 Optionally Piloted Helicopter Demonstration Flights

March 27, 2019 - USGS Tests New Drone Technology to Measure Floodwaters

2018

Interior Museum Lunchtime Lecture Series: Drones for Good: The DOI Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program

USGS Volcano Hazards Program: Videos and Short Movie Clips of Kīlauea
Fissure 8 view from UAS provides critical geologic information

Kīlauea Summit UAS footage shows an ever growing Halema‘uma‘u Crater

May 27, 2018 - Follow the drone to safety, UAS mission in Kīlauea helps guide evacuations and rescued a local resident

DOI UAS PowerPoint Presentations and Podcasts

2019

August 22, 2019 - OAS Director Presentation to DHS CISA UAS Cyber Working Group

August 21, 2019 - OAS Director Presentation - with Speaker's Notes to 2019 AUVSI Defense Protection Security Conference

August 19, 2019 - OAS Director Presentation to District of Columbia Mayor's UAS Working Group

August 1, 2019 - Blog Talk Radio: DOI Drones: Guest Mark Bathrick, Director, Office of Aviation Services

May 13, 2019 - Optionally Piloted Helicopters - A Wildfire Game Changer - OAS Director Briefing to OAS Senior Leadership Team

2018

October 15, 2018 - OAS Richard Thurau's Imagine Nation Presentation at ELC:
DOI’s Drone Program for Incident Response; Volcanoes, Fires, Hurricanes and More!

September 26, 2018 - OAS Director Mark Bathrick's Keynote to 2018 New York State Geospatial Summit, Skaneateles Falls, NY:
Drones and the Democratization of the 3rd Dimension - Opportunities and Challenges for the Geospatial Community

July 12, 2018 - OAS Director Presentation to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction
"Drones for Good," The Game-Changing Promise for Wildland Fire

April 26, 2018 - OAS Director Mark Bathrick's Presentation at NextGov - Technology as a Force for Change:
“Drones for Good” A Government Technology Success Story & A Roadmap for Success
Proven Template for Success - DOI OAS Playbook for UAS Program

April 2018 - OAS Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Testing – Emergency Equipment Delivery

February 8, 2018 - AUVSI Defense Protection Safety Conference Presentation: DOI Drones for Good (with speaker's notes)

2017

September 18, 2017 - OAS Director Mark Bathrick's Presentation at IT Innovation Day "Fedstival 2017":
Fedstival 2017 - DOI Presentation

2016

November 1, 2016 - OAS Director Mark Bathrick's Presentation at the Commercial UAV Expo:
Commercial Drones FM Podcast - The U.S. Department of the Interior: 500 Million Acres & 1,200 Aircraft (Drones Included) with Mark Bathrick
What it Takes to Succeed in Drones: The Four Key Competencies
Four Must-Have Competencies for Commercial UAV Success

September 6, 2016 - Asia Pacific Aerial Firefighting International Conference Presentation - UAS in Aerial Ignition

August 2, 2016 - DOI Lightning Presentation, White House Workshop on Harnessing the Potential of Unmanned Aircraft Systems

March 2016 - Aerial Firefighting International:
Sacramento - Fire UAS Briefing V2.2 With Videos
Interview with OAS Director, Mark Bathrick

DOI UAS Reports, Information Bulletins, Guides & Policy Document Releases

February 1, 2021 - U.S. Department of the Interior Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program 2020 Use Report

January 20, 2021 - DOI UAS Fleet Inventory

2020

December 10, 2020 - Updated - UAS Waiver and Reporting Form Instructions

December 10, 2020 - Updated - UAS Emergency Readiness Waiver Form

December 10, 2020 - Updated - UAS Emergency Ops Reporting Form

October 15, 2020 - Interagency Aviation Safety Alert 21-01​ Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) DJI M600 Mishaps

October 6, 2020 - Important Update on Secretary's Order 3379 and Blue Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

May 21, 2020 - DOI "Designated UAS" Assessment Guide

May 08, 2020 - Memorandum: "Designated UAS" under Secretary's Order 3379

March 24, 2020 -  US Department of the Interior Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program 2019 Use Report

February 14, 2020 - Implementation Guidance on Secretary's Order 3379

January 10, 2020 - DOI Fleet Aircraft FY19 Flight Hours by Mission Code

2019

December 2, 2019 - UAS Data Collection at U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) Sites - Over the past 3 years, USBR demonstrated how UAS were able to collect data faster, cheaper, and safer than traditional methods. A total of nine demonstrations were conducted, comprising 39 UAS projects resulting in nearly 100 hours of UAS flight time. The data collected were both higher quality and in greater quantity than what had been collected with traditional methods. Cracks can be detected to 1/8 inch or better, topographical maps can be generated to 1-foot contours, and IR data (at 400 ft AGL) can be resolved to a resolution of 9 inches per pixel compared to satellite imagery that is around 36 inches per pixel. The demonstration projects discussed herein showed that the typical photogrammetric project required about 2 to 3 weeks to complete, from flight planning to data collection to data processing. Finally, the safety enhancements of operating a UAS is substantial. Because UAS can access areas that are hazardous for humans to access, or are otherwise impossible to reach, human hazards are significantly mitigated.

November 27, 2019 - DOI UAS Payload Requirements

November 19, 2019 - BLM UAS 2019 - Unmanned Aircraft System Operations by the Bureau of Land Management for Training, Natural Resources, and Wildland Fire, in Fiscal Year 2019

November 18, 2019 - FY2019 DOI UAS Flight Use Charts

November 8, 2019 - DOI Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Layered Data Management Assurance / Security Approach

November 8, 2019 - UAS Flight Use Report FY19 - Dept of the Interior - for FAA - Operator Names and locations removed

November 8, 2019 - UAS Flight Use Report FY18 - Dept of the Interior - for FAA - Operator Names and locations removed

November 6, 2019 - Comparison of Draft Army Short Range Reconnaissance (SRR) UAS Specification with Representative Master UAS Requirements for the DOI

September 6, 2019 - Department of the Interior Unmanned Aircraft System Historical and Future Projected Flight Totals - 2010 - 2025

August 13, 2019 - DOI Drone vs Services Procurement Decision Guide

August 2, 2019 - Skid Fire UAS Flight and Data Collection Summary

August 2, 2019 - Roberts Fire UAS Flight and Data Collection Summary

July 25, 2019 - U.S. Department of the Interior Small UAS Selection and Acquisition Process

July 19, 2019 - Key Messages and FAQ's - OAS UAS Data Management Assurance Flight Test and Technical Evaluation Report

July 3, 2019 - Limited Authorization to Acquire and Operate Selected SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Based on the conclusions and recommendations contained in the Flight Test and Technical Evaluation Report of the completed DJI Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Mission Functionality and Data Management Assurance Assessment, this letter provides limited authorization for Interior to acquire and operate selected and specially configured DJI UAS in support of wildfire, SAR, emergency response, natural resources, and other applicable bureau missions.

July 2, 2019 - Flight Test and Technical Evaluation Report - DJI Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Mission Functionality and Data Management Assurance Assessment: This Flight Test and Technical Evaluation Report presents results of an assessment of the flight, payload, and data management assurance performance of the SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd. Matrice 600 Pro and Mavic Pro unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) modified with DJI Government Edition (GE) hardware, firmware, and software for suitability in selected Interior bureau missions. Test articles were operated under the Office of Aviation Services (OAS) Test Plan for Validation and Verification of Data Security Software for Employment of DJI UAS Platforms, originally signed on April 9, 2018 and later updated with approved Modifications One and Two of November 14 and 16, 2018, respectively.

March 29, 2019 - DOI Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program - 2018 Use Report

March 21, 2019 - Interagency Strategic Framework for Drone Incursion on Wildfires Including 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 Results

March 19, 2019 - OAS Information Paper - Previous UAS Work and Accomplishments Related to Section 1114 - Wildfire Technology Modernization of the John D Dingell Jr, Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act

March 18, 2019 - DOI Supported UAS Use on Wildland Fire (2019 Projected) (Updated 03/27/2019)

March 15, 2019 - Master UAS Requirements for the DOI

February 19, 2019 - DOI UAS Best Practices for Responsible Operations

2018

November 19, 2018 - BLM: UAS Cultural Resource Summary 2014-2017

November 09, 2018 - DOI UAS Field Report - Henry Smith Site, Montana

October 14, 2018 - DOI OAS UAS Briefing Paper - Positive Impacts of DOI's Expanded VLOS - EVLOS - BVLOS Authorities

September 19, 2018 - DOI OAS UAS Briefing Paper - Call-When-Needed UAS Contract Usage Update

August 31, 2018 - DOI OAS UAS Briefing Paper - August 2018 Update on Current OAS UAS Support for Wildland Fire

August 6, 2018 - DOI UAS Background Information Paper - Optionally Piloted Helicopters - A Primer On A Potentially Game-Changing Technology That Promises To Save Lives, Property, And Money In Wildland Fire

August 6, 2018 - DOI OAS UAS Briefing Paper - Aerial Ignition UAS and Payload Development

August 6, 2018 - DOI OAS UAS Briefing Paper - Aerial Ignition OT&E Field Report

August 3, 2018 - 2018 Wildland Fire Incursion Events of Unauthorized UAS

August 3, 2018 - OAS Briefing Paper - Drone Incursions on Wildfires - Key Messages - July 2018 Update

July 31, 2018 - DOI UAS Concept Paper - In Your Hand and On Demand – A concept for enhanced awareness, effectiveness, & safety

April 29, 2018 - OAS Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Testing - Emergency Equipment Delivery

April 10, 2018 - DAS PRE OAS Information Paper - The Problems with Predators for DOI

April 5, 2018 - Searchable DOI UAS Imagery Data Note: (Select "UAS" under the "dataset" tab for UAS imagery results)

April 5, 2018 - DOI UAS Data Research

April 5, 2018 - USGS UAS Publications

April 5, 2018 - USGS UAS Poster Gallery

2017

December 11, 2017 - DOI Fiscal Year 2017 UAS Flights Summary with GACC Maps

November 2017 - Virgin Islands National Park 2017 Hurricane Maria UAS Operations Report

October 2017 - Grand Canyon National Park UAS Program 1 Year Report

August 28, 2017 - Young Fire UAS Test and Demonstration

August 8, 2017 - Information Bulletin 17-01 Unstable flight and loss of GPS caused by having 3DR Solo App running while also having Tower and/or Mission Planner running during flight.

August 2017 - Drones on Wildfires:
August, 2017, Southern Oregon - PowerPoint with Video
August, 2017, Southern Oregon - PDF Document

July 12, 2017 - DOI UAS Report - Relationship of Fire Discovery Times on the Timeliness of Aerial Firefighting Support

July 2017 - Interagency Fire Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations Guide

June 2017 - Boundary Fire Unmanned Aircraft System Operations After Action Review (AAR) and Lessons Learned

May 25, 2017 - Irwin GeoPlatform Service User Guide V1.0

2016

June 2016 - North Fire Unmanned Aircraft Systems Testing & Evaluation After Action Review

March 19, 2016 - Homestead National Monument Aerial Ignition UAS Test Results

March 31, 2016 - NWCG Memorandum No. 16-006 Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Incursion Protocol for Wildland Firefighter

March 31, 2016 - NWCG Memorandum No. 16-006a Incursion Decision Tree

FAA News & Updates

Was this page helpful?