It seems like drones get new responsibilities on a daily basis in today’s age. One new job for these drones just might be firefighting. In a previous article we have discussed the role of drones in the current firefighting layout. They are to scout an area unreachable by ground vision, point out potential access points, and watch out for survivors in burning buildings.
Now, drones may be more than scouts for areas. In Europe, these UAVs are to actually carry the water to the afflicted areas. The idea comes from the Helitack approach. This aerial firefighter support involves a helicopter designed to carry loads of water and drop them into fires directly. The plan proposed was for drones to do something similar, in a smaller but more numbered approach. The people behind this idea did reiterate though: the drones for now are to complement the firefighters.
Forest fires are becoming increasingly common because of climate change. The arid temperature in the summers make blazing fires across counties more frequent. That is why a smaller – cheaper – approach may be in order. Helicopter support is incredibly expensive and are always limited in number. This plan also limits the number of risks to human lives in fire situations. Like other jobs demanding drone use, human exposure decreases along with injury cases. Drones can make it that the job completes without worrying about casualties involving the fires and smoke.
This leaves the human workers to command the drones while the devices themselves go into the so-called danger zones instead. In congested areas such as urban communities, helicopters may find it difficult to navigate. That’s where drones can also come in. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Fire Plan Explained:
The drone plan involve multiple approaches.
The first, and most basic one, involves drones simply doing reconnaissance work. Spot the fires using thermal cameras, estimate the severity, and return with data. This will make the firefighters be better prepared for what is to come.
The next plan involves drones swarming an area and releasing water continuously. This helps prevent the spread of fires and also provide more consistency than helicopters. Helicopters have to go back to a large water source in-between trips, meaning the fires can recover in the meantime.
Another plan for drones is to turn water into mist. This can help take out fires and lock it in one area. The mist prevents heat transfer to nearby areas, which can control wildfires.
Whatever the situation is, it seems like a drone can provide complement to the crew. This flexibility makes it valuable in this chaotic field, while also being cheaper and more accessible.