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MAY 2021    |   SRNS TODAY   |   7

        time required to walk the Site,” said Troy Lorier,
        Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Operations Manager and
        Aviation Safety Officer, SRNL. “Plus, issues such as damaged
        fencing, erosion or where hogs have rooted up the soil, can   “The SRNL UAS Program recently received
        be quickly identified and the exact location passed on to   DOE’s UAS Aircraft Unit Award for FY20,
        maintenance crews.”                                     an aviation safety award recognizing our program
        Lorier explained that a height of 10 to 12 feet above the   as the best in the DOE complex in 2020.”
        ground was typically maintained during the aerial inspections
        while occasionally soaring up to 150 feet for a broader                  Troy Lorier
        perspective. Because each engineered cover varied in size,
        time in the field lasted as little as 30 minutes and as much as
        four to five hours.
        “Our Environmental Compliance Department five-year review
        was recently completed where every closure project needed to   According to SRNS Manager of Area Completion Projects,
        be closely examined,” said Maddox. “We greatly appreciated   Steve Shirley, the five-year environmental inspection of the
        SRNL’s drone team, who helped us with this challenge. The   entire length of the Lower Three Runs watershed is about a
        regulators were pleased with the presentation and stated that   year or two from starting. “We may be able to work with SRNL
        this method gave them a better view than what they would   on how to use drones to cover that 25-mile stretch without
        have seen at ground level.”
                                                               having to depend on a large number of Site employees
        The drone program at SRS began in 2009 during the American   working in a difficult environment all the way down to the
        Recovery and Reinvestment Act when the SRNS Area Cleanup   Savannah River.”
        Projects group purchased the Site’s first drones. Since that   Drones are being used at SRS for a variety of missions
        time, the program has grown in size, scope of work and the   including emergency response surveillance, radiation
        number of highly experienced personnel.
                                                               detection, aerial photography and videography, as well as
        “The SRNL UAS Program recently received DOE’s UAS Aircraft   counter-UAS testing and training. The number and types of
        Unit Award for FY20, an aviation safety award recognizing our   drones are expected to grow over time. The sky and creativity
        program as the best in the DOE complex in 2020,” said Lorier.  are the limit.
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