HOUSTON—As national and local broadcasters prepared and made their way down to Texas prior to Hurricane Harvey making landfall, some drone crews from Measure made the trek to provide their services in covering of the historic storm. Enlisted by a national network and a local Houston station, Measure helped provide the public with visuals of what is going on and what areas may or may not be safe.
The Measure crews consist of two employees, a pilot and a visual observer/camera operator, equipped with a primary and backup drone; for this event the crews have the DJI Inspire 2 with a Zenmuse X5S 4/3 camera with interchangeable lenses. To date, Measure has assisted in three live broadcasts during Harvey, transmitted via LiveU packs, according to Jon Ollwerther, Measure’s vice president of media.
“Right now the service we’re providing is a public service, we’re letting the public know what is going on,” Ollwerther told TV Technology.
While drones are becoming a more common tool for newsrooms, drone services like what Measure provides can be helpful in situations that call for operators more experienced with drones.
“Some networks and some stations want the ability to fly drones themselves,” Ollwerther explains. “But when a natural disaster like this occurs, the scope and scale is just too huge and the story too large for their news crews to be focusing on shooting a story from the ground and from the air. So what we do is really absorb that overflow demand.”
In the past, Measure has provided its drone services to networks like Fox, ABC and CNN. But Measure’s drones won’t be limited to helping broadcaster’s coverage of Harvey, the drones will also provide additional services to the affected areas. Ollwerther indicates that Measure has contracts with telecommunications, engineering and energy companies to use drones for vital infrastructure inspections during and after the storm.
Ollwerther also says that Measure is expecting to provide additional drone services the impacted areas in Louisiana, though said that nothing is confirmed as of publication.