Search and Rescue Missions
A Predator B, owned by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was used extensively during and after the 2008 hurricanes that struck Louisiana and Texas. The Predator operated between 18,000-29,000 feet above sea level, performing search and rescue and damage assessment. Payloads carried were an optical sensor, which is a daytime and infra red camera, and a Synthetic Aperture Radar, (SAR). A combination of Just Aero Works' and CBP pilots managed the take-offs and landings from a CBP control station in Corpus Christi, TX and all other phases of flight from a control station in Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
The Predator's SAR is a sophisticated all-weather sensor capable of providing photographic-like images through clouds, rain or fog, and in daytime or nighttime conditions; all in real-time. A concept of coherent change detection in SAR images allows for exceptional search and rescue ability. The Predator can collect photos before and after the storm hits. The computer compares the photos and highlights areas of damage.