PENDLETON, WA - A drone site in Pendleton is using a technology called the 'Resolute Eagle' to create jobs in Eastern Oregon. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden made a visit to PAE SIR's site Monday to find out what the system is capable of.
The 'Resolute Eagle' is an unmanned aircraft system designed for military operations, firefighting efforts, agriculture.
"Instead of harvesting when they think it is, by looking at one part of a field... We can tell them, let it sit for another week and start your harvest over in this part," said Ken Bisconer Director of Operations.
Unlike a regular drone, the aircraft can fly for 16 hours, making it easier to find a missing hiker during a search and rescue operation too.
"If someone goes missing.... that first 24 hours is critical," said Ken Bisconer Director of Operations. "It can stay up their for 16 hours and it can show you every warm thing in that area.
Senator Ron Wyden says this is the industry of the future.
"What they can do for mountaintop rescue or precision agriculture is amazing," said Senator Wyden.
Right now the 'Resolute Eagle' is still in the testing phase, with testing expected to end in 2023. In 2012 Congress mandated the test sites to help speed up commercializing the UAS technology. The industry still comes with restrictions; unmanned aircraft systems can only fly 500 feet and below. Anything higher than 500 feet needs approval from the FAA and visual observers
Ken Bisconer hopes to eventually teach this technology in schools. Bisconer says he's already been speaking to Pendleton's Blue Mountain Community College. When students get out of school ideally they would already have the certification they need to operate one of the aircraft.