Unmanned Aircraft Systems, UAS or drones, offer many benefits to our District.
We started evaluating UAS in 2016. During this project, we laid the foundation for agency and community support, aviation safety culture and operational procedures. We also identified several UAS mission types that benefit or enhance district operations.
- Measuring wind and temperature to determine if conditions are right for adult mosquito applications
- Monitoring specific mosquito sites over time
- Visual assessment of mosquito habitat
- Detection of mosquito larvae in water
- Application of mosquito larvicides
In 2017, former California Governor Edmund B. Brown Jr. signed AB 527 into law which allows unmanned aircraft pilots to obtain certification to apply pesticides from UAS. This enabled us to move forward with mosquito larvicide application.
Manned aircraft remains an important tool in Placer County, however augmenting manned aircraft missions with UAS or targeting smaller areas of the county with UAS can help to reduce insecticide use in certain circumstances and provide options to better manage insecticide resistance in mosquitoes.
- Zero footprint on marsh and sensitive lands
- Smaller and more precise aerial treatments
- Improved irrigation monitoring
- Increased detection of mosquito larvae
- Improved employee field safety
- Reduced noise and fuel emissions
- Optimized use of field staff time management
Manned aircraft remains an important tool in Placer County, however augmenting with UAS to target smaller areas can help to reduce insecticide use in certain circumstances and provide options to better manage insecticide resistance in mosquitoes.
UAS are operated by a ground-based pilot-in-command who uses a remote transmitter to manually fly the unmanned aircraft or in some cases, uses computer software to plan and execute an automated flight. In all cases, UAS missions must be within the pilot’s line of sight or a designated visual observer and comply with all applicable federal and state laws.
We continue to refine our UAS operations for safety, efficacy and efficiency, while using UAS missions to improve our ability to protect public health.
Additional UAS Resources