The latest buzz at the Department of Interior

Photo by the Bureau of Land Management.

Drones have proven to be a vital tool for organizations across the government for achieving mission success. And the one federal department leading the charge expects the technology to play an even bigger role in gathering and analyzing data.

The Department of Interior (DOI) is one of the most advanced agencies on the drone front with its UAV disaster response and natural phenomenon reconnaissance programs. And by the end of this year, the department will grow to 180 trained operators–a number that has tripled in only half a year.

This rapid growth is important for the IT sector as the department looks for innovative solutions to help it process and analyze the data it gathers from drones.

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Where USDA Will Focus Its IT Spend in FY17

Kevin Shaker_65 x 85USDAwebinar_081816By Kevin Shaker, Analyst

Big data and analytics technology will be in hot demand at the Department of Agriculture (USDA) in FY17. Why? The U.S. agriculture industry is going through a major transition: Climate change is affecting temperate thresholds for certain crops, urban sprawl is spreading over potentially useful crop land, and farmers are battling consumer diet and income changes.

With so many variables, USDA CIO Jonathan Alboum has emphasized the absolute importance of big data and analytics, along with visualization technology in USDA’s IT structure.

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Drumming Up the Drone Deliverance

Kevin Shaker_65 x 85Drones_070616By Kevin Shaker, Analyst

Drone technology continues to whir up around government and the private sector, with recent developments addressing how the devices collect information. Drone developers have several opportunities getting ready for take-off at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Interior (DOI).

The most recent update was on June 21, when for the first time ever, the FAA passed a large-scale referendum that includes rules on where commercial drones can operate. The mandate prohibits commercial drones from operating more than 400 feet in altitude, within 400 feet of tall buildings, and past sunset. Organizations that use drones will have to abide by the FAA guidelines.

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Drones Coming to a Farm Near You

Kevin Shaker_65 x 85drone_051216By Kevin Shaker, Analyst

Federal agencies have a long history of using drones to fulfill missions, starting with the Defense Department using the technology for everything from reconnaissance to combat functions.

And then there’s plenty of civilian agency use of drones– Customs and Border Protection began using drones for surveillance at the Mexican-American border, and the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has used the technology for law enforcement and domestic protection.

The newest civilian entrant to the drone market is the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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