Firefighting technologies go beyond the human labor. Small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS) detect and extinguish the fire along with professional firefighters. It makes possible to save lots of lives, firemen’s – among them. In this article several ways of such SUAS usage are discussed.
Ignition of hardly accessible wiring – electrical shield, transmission towers and the like – can be only stopped with special means due to electric shock danger. Water and foam are usually applied in case of obvious cable line break or after source of energy are being switched off. Fire powder and carbon dioxide are more secure when extinguishing electrical installations up to 1kV and 10kV, respectively. Anyway high-rise power lines are more accessible for SUAS then for the fire brigade. Copter rises up and point throws off powder or carbon dioxide in the place of ignition. Herewith the surrounding area is not being much polluted, as well as minimum risk for firefighter’s life.
Fire in the buildings also provides a wide range of activities for SUAS. First of all drone flies around the building and detects fire and people inside with the help of TV camera. Actual video is being transmitted to the operator. The onboard thermal imaging camera enables to determine the center of ignition and to find people even in smoky places.
Finally, urgent problem of our time – forest fires – can be significantly reduced when being found from the air. As in the previous case TV camera makes possible to find fire and smoke from the high, thermal camera determines the center of ignition. Georeferenced video and photo help firefighters to navigate on the terrain.
Thus, using of SUAS for firefighting has the following advantages:
- Low risk for firefighter’s life;
- High possibility of finding and rescue people;
- Determination of ignition center simplifies firefighting – decreases the volume of necessary water and powder that deals less damage;
- SUAS usage for forest firefighting is much cheaper then helicopter usage.