It’s seems that, for a while now, drones have been in the news either because of something good or because they were causing a stir someplace; they are literally filling the skies over the USA now. The FAA has had to put restrictions on drone flights after some close encounters with civilian aircraft near airports and has also had to deal with requests from such big companies as Amazon and Walmart who want to use them to make deliveries. One thing the FAA should have no problem approving drone use for is to help with firefighting.
The potential impact that drones can have in helping fight fires is said to be almost unlimited and invaluable. And why not; if drones can be sent on sophisticated reconnaissance missions and carry large amounts of supplies, it stands to reason that they could be retrofitted to carry out firefighting tasks too. In 2011, there were approximately 1,389,500 fires in the USA alone and over 3000 people lost their lives in those fires. Experts believe that drones could be used by people on the ground to better position firefighters and alert them to potential problems, and they can also be used to do some actual firefighting too.
In a recent experiment to this end, two sophisticated military drones were paired together to see if they could somehow successfully fight a fire. One was a drone called the K-Max that has been used successfully to resupply Marines for a while now and is capable of carrying over 6,000 pounds of supplies at speeds of over 100 miles per hour; it was the workhorse of the two drones. The other drone was a small reconnaissance and surveillance drone called the Stalker XE. The Stalker XE was the brains of the operation and was used to guide the K-Max to its target to drop water on it. The test was said to be very successful and the K-Max accurately hit the intended target with the water drop.
The advantage with drones is that they are not subject to such things as crew fatigue. The operators can work in shifts to stay fresh while the drones just keep on doing their firefighting tasks 24/7 if necessary. The possibilities are endless when it comes to doing such things as fighting forest fires with chemicals and alerting command centers to potential hazardous condition changes that often endanger the lives of firefighters on the ground.
I am sure if you are a firefighter and are reading this the thought of any assistance you can get in keeping you safe appeals to you. The big thing now is that these drones are not being flown over desert war zones when fighting fires and they have to be able to operate safely and be able to stay out of the way of civilian aircraft. It will be a challenge, but one that is definitely worth undertaking. It will be interesting to see what comes of this potential firefighting use for drones in the near future.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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