Look, we all have different opinions about whether or not drones should be employed in the United States. The question that haunts most people regarding drones is that” is it ethical to use drones anywhere?” We get it… it’s controversial, but while you ponder over this let us present you with a fact: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the United States’ fire season is, on average, 78 days longer than it was in 1970. It is also a fact that today drones are an absolute necessity for firefighters especially in and around urban centres. Drone data is of crucial importance when trying to locate the epicentre of the fire and the best course of actions to ensure minimum damage. Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty and find out exactly How Fire Departments Use Drones To Save Lives.
A Blessing in the Skies
Most of you might be uncertain about how exactly drones can be useful during emergency fire drills. You’ll be really glad to know that their implementation in firefighting has been met with tremendous success worldwide.
How Are Drones Being Used for Firefighting
Drones help firefighters collect vital information about ongoing fires, which helps them focus their efforts on where their help is most needed, keep them from harm’s way, and save lives.
- Rapid 360-degree assessment of burning structures.
- Seeing through smoke with thermal imagine cameras to monitor hotspots and crew from above.
- Illuminating nighttime operations with floodlights.
Search & Rescue
- Monitoring large areas of hard to navigate land.
- Delivering items to victims with payload drop systems.
- Locating people at night through the usage of thermal imaging cameras and floodlights.
- Using a combination of aerial surveillance and thermal imaging to search and rescue victims.
- Surveying and mapping the impact scene to assess the damage.
- Searching and locating missing people after a natural disaster.
- Using previously captured footage for training purposes.
- Closely monitoring current fire conditions and responding appropriately to changing situations.
- Reducing risks through better ground crew monitoring
- Providing highly reliable data to command centres
- Identifying smouldering hotspots in wildland fires
Drone Technologies Currently in Use for Firefighting
Drones might come in a variety of shapes and sizes but not all drones are suitable for firefighting operations. Custom drones based on open source stacks mainly PX4 and Ardupilot are the ones that are mostly used during these emergency situations.
So, what are some of these drones?
DJI Inspire 2
The image processing system CineCore2.0 has been upgraded to CineCore2.1, recording video. This is up to 6K in CinemaDNG/RAW and 5.2K in Apple ProRes when used with Zenmuse X7 camera. This amazing drone goes from 0 to 50 mph (80 kph) in just 5 seconds and hits a maximum speed of 58 mph (94 kph). Ut comes equipped with a dual battery system that prolongs the flight time to a maximum of 27 minutes (with an X4S).
DJI Matrice 300 RTK
Some of the features of this amazing drone include:
- 15 km Max Transmission
- 55-min Max Flight Time
- 6 Directional Sensing & Positioning
- Primary Flight Display
- IP45 Rating
- -20°C to 50°C Operating Temperature
- Hot-swappable Battery
- UAV Health Management System
DJI Matrice 210 V2
Some of the features include:
- FPV Camera
- Anti-collision Beacon
- Discreet Mode
- Mobile SDK Compatibility & DJI SkyPort Compatibility
The Next Revolutionary Tech?
Given how quickly drones have been adopted to tackle fires, it seems absolutely certain that we’ll be seeing even more of them, especially over wildfire scenarios.
The next generation of drones, Generation 7, has already been announced as the world’s first all-in-one Smart Drone called Solo. These smart drones come equipped with the following:
- Built-in safeguards and compliance tech
- Smart accurate sensors
- Enhanced self-monitoring
And so much more! This is will most definitely provide brand new opportunities especially in the transport, military, logistics, and commercial sectors. Drones are destined to become much safer and more dependable as these technologies continue to adapt and grow.
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog on How Fire Departments Use Drones To Save Lives.
ALSO, READ: Are Robots the Future of Space Exploration?
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Until then, keep being awesome!