Reporting for drone duty.
Currently, the drones weigh 55 kg with a length and width of 3 m. With 145 kg of lifting power, they can work up to 30 min depending on weather conditions.
It takes 15 min to change batteries, while a full charge can be reached in approximately 90 min. New tests addressing the possibility of supplying the drones with power through special cables are planned in the near future.
The producer is in progress to obtain a patent for the use of their drone to extinguish fires at very great heights. It is estimated that by using its powerful drone, heights of 300 – 400 meters will be accessible for firefighting. In the future, autonomous, helicopters being developed by Lockhead Martin, Sikorsky and Aurora Flight Science, might take over some of that dangerous flying.
But the future of aerial firefighting includes more than drones and human-free helicopters. It just may involve flying cars. First responders around the world are eyeing the growing field of vertical takeoff and landing vehicles, which are basically people-sized drones.
Los Angeles Fire Department has a new tool that could reduce the risk these men and women take on.“For the first time ever, we’re going to use our drones,” LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said at a news conference on Thursday. Shortly afterward, a firefighter, in his shirtsleeves, launched one of two quadcopters into the air.
From the ground, he flew it over the scar of the Skirball Fire, which destroyed at least six mansions in the ritzy Bel Air area.
Using on-board cameras, he surveyed the damaged property and got a precise view of the path of the fire. A second drone carried an infrared camera to highlight the remaining hotspots, which firefighters could then track down and finish off.