In December, the FAA registered the first drones under its new (albeit controversial) system. In that same month, the Aerodrome announced that the world’s first commercial droneport under construction. And just yesterday, a Dutch company announced the first raptor-based anti-drone system employing eagles to take down errant UAVs.
So, reports that the Shanghai Fire Department plans to be the first public-safety agency in China to have 24-7 UAV support for firefighters should come as no shock to the drone world.
Reporting for CRI, Huang Yue writes that the agency will use three-pound, carbon-fiber UAVs equipped with infrared cameras and radar.
“The truly outstanding feature of these drones is said to be their ability to stay airborne around-the-clock,” Huang said. Designer Chen Guangwen says the drones will be able to stay aloft around the clock thanks to an improved electric power system.
“The conventional drones are powered by gasoline, methanol or lithium batteries, which limit the flying time and can be a trouble. Our drones are powered by a ground facility that supplies electricity,” he said. The Chinese government has given the fire department authorization to operate the drones up to 300 feet and 3,280 feet from the base point.
Huang adds the firefighting drones may also be used for “transportation control, forest fire prevention, and preservation of cultural relics.”
Firefighting drones are blazing a new trail in public-safety technology across Asia. Fireproof Aerial RObot System (FAROS), the new firefighting drone from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), can detect fires in the tallest of skyscrapers and can also search an engulfed building and transfer real-time data to human firefighters to build a better game plan for extinguishing a blaze. The drone can deploy a 2-D laser scanner, altimeter and “Inertia Measurement Unit” sensor to navigate a building autonomously all while withstanding heats in excess of 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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