Fire Fighting with Drones
Fighting fires is yet another area which can largely profit from the usage of UAVs. Through efficient surveying and information gathering, firefighter drones give the incident command a unique opportunity to fully understand the current conditions and make appropriate decisions regarding both the fire and safety of the team. Thermal cameras enable drones to see in low light conditions and through the smoke to check for hotspots in burning buildings and to monitor the rescue companies during entry. When the fire is put out, having eyes above the scene and being able to quickly reach places which people strive to get to, UAVs also help to assess the damage and monitor the surrounding area.
DOFEC from Fly4Future
For an esteemed client, the Fly4Future team has developed an advanced autonomous firefighting drone called DOFEC. With impressive capabilities, the drone can locate, track, and extinguish fires with minimal human input. DOFEC is equipped with an autonomy engine, enabling it to explore an area and accurately track fire locations. Furthermore, it is equipped with a launcher that can fire fire-extinguishing capsules during flight. In addition to its fire-fighting abilities, the drone also features onboard cameras. These cameras enable it to locate people and animals not visible to normal RGB cameras, which helps to gather crucial information about the disaster-struck area. As a result fire fighting teams can formulate an effective strategy to extinguish the fire and save as many lives as possible. This feature has the potential to be highly beneficial for search and rescue missions, as well as providing real-time updates on the situation.
The self-operating capabilities and sophisticated attributes of this drone are undeniably powerful aids in enhancing both speed and efficacy during disaster response situations.
The Fire Extinguishing System
The onboard system detects fires in thermal images and locates them using an onboard depth camera. Since there can be multiple fires during the mission, the drone keeps track of their locations while exploring the area. The drone can extinguish fires in any desired order and at any time, based on the mission requirements. When attempting to extinguish a fire, the drone approaches the location of the fire and positions itself in an optimal configuration to effectively release a capsule filled with a fire-extinguishing substance.
The primary motivation is to extinguish fires that are accessible from outside a building, in order to prevent the escalation of the fire and provide firefighters with increased and safer access to the area.
The integrated cameras are equipped to supply both RGB and depth data. This remarkable feature allows them to identify and pinpoint the positions of humans, animals, and other objects within areas affected by fire.
Higher Payload for Larger Areas
In the event of a fire in a large area, prompt action is indeed crucial to prevent further escalation. The small fire fighting drone, equipped with a single capsule, was designed for quick response and lightweight operations. However, it is important to note that reloading capsules after each launch may result in time lost and potentially severe losses. That can be crucial when tackling fires in large industrial areas. Therefore, the Fly4Future team has developed a large version of DOFEC to address the need for higher extinguishing capacity. With its ability to fire seven capsules in a single flight, it allows for more efficient extinguishing operations. This not only helps save valuable lives but also conserves resources by minimizing downtime for reloading.
Ultimately, both drones serve their purpose in specific situations. The small drone’s agility and quick response are ideal for initial intervention or smaller fires that require immediate attention. Meanwhile, the large drone’s greater capacity makes it highly effective when dealing with larger-scale incidents where speed and efficiency are paramount. It’s important to assess the nature of the fire and choose the appropriate firefighting strategy accordingly. By utilizing both small and large DOFEC drones strategically based on each situation’s requirements, authorities can maximize their effectiveness in extinguishing fires swiftly while minimizing potential losses.
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