Firefighters Using Drones to Assist Efforts
Global news headlines contain no shortage of ideas once thought to be straight out of futuristic science fiction, from wearable technology to military-grade drones and their utilization in war-torn regions.
The government and researchers have been using and perfecting the latter technology for years, and have found ways to harness the power of drones for the benefit of increased national security and intelligence.
Now, the technology has become more widely available, and drones are commonplace enough to even market as toys and games for kids and adults alike. And in even better news, smaller-scale government and safety issues are now able to be addressed with drone technology, like the five firefighters’ tools below.
1. ELIMCO’s E300 with FÉNIX
This unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is helping Spanish authorities track and monitor wildfires, thanks to its ability to hover for about three hours and reach distances up to 62 miles from base. This is notable for its ability to be used at night, when often unmanned wildfires take growth.
2. L3 Communication’s Viking 400-S
Operating for up to 12 hours and with the capacity to hold up to 100 pounds of chemical, radiological and other detectors, this UAS can operate up to 70 miles away (within sight-line). Its use is primarily beneficial in hazmat incidents.
3. Information Processing Systems’ MCV
These vehicles are modified to include security surveillance equipment including cameras, radar, sensors and more and can carry drones to be operated from remote command centers. The vehicle gets closer to a scene than one can on foot, and the zoomed-in launch point allows drones to gather more useful data on various types of emergency scenes.
4. Sensefly’s eBee
These drones are small in stature but big in benefit. Weighing in at just 1.5 pounds, the drones include 16-megapixel cameras and can take trips up to 45 minutes long to cover up to 10 miles. Lightweight and easily deployable, these little guys can even follow 3D flight plans.
5. Kaman’s UAT
This unmanned aerial truck can bear up to 6,000 pounds and easily handle the maneuvering of personnel and gear in a safer manner than before. Its best use might be delivering necessary supplies to first responders in emergency situations.