Will drones replace the water bomber aircraft in the fight against fire?

K-MAX-Stalker-XEOn 18 November 2015, Lockheed-Martin conducted a demonstration of firefighting rich of promise. The scheme has staged a small reconnaissance UAV Stalker XE and a drone K-MAX helicopter capable of carrying a drop charge. During the demonstration, the first was able to identify a fire, pass the coordinates to the second which is go bailing water, and then perform a dump to extinguish the fire. Squadrons of UAVs could well replace traditional helicopters and Canadair in the fight against the fires.

The drones could intervene night and day on the site

At a time when civil aviation is more than an endless litany of procedures and autopilots to turn buttons, Canadair pilots are perhaps the latest drivers hero of our time. This last square has perhaps the trouble to do this because Lockheed-Martin comes to disassemble it is possible to extinguish a fire with not a drone, but several. In our society of zero risk, it could cost their place in the cockpit to our brave pilots.
Lockheed-Martin argument is clear. While water bombers and helicopter dropping aircraft operations are limited by weather conditions, including wind as well as the hours of the day, a drone would triple the time of intervention on the site of a fire. The demonstration made November 18 has demonstrated the feasibility of the concept. Stalker XE offers a battery life of 8 hours and its infrared camera high resolution will allow it to operate night and day above the theatre of operation.

More on the use of the drones themselves, the heart of the demonstration was actually air traffic control software which allows not only to coordinate the action of the two drones on the site of the fire but also prevent real-time air movements of drones in civil airspace. The demonstration has demonstrated the feasibility of the concept, remains to develop the software for whatever a waterwheel of several drones that can intervene over a fire relentlessly as the ‘human’ drivers know how to do.
Translation : Bing Translation

Source : “Lockheed Martin Conducts Collaborative Unmanned Systems Demonstration”, Lockheed-Martin press release, December 2, 2015

 

K-MAX and Stalker-XE, the duo of UAVs used during the demonstration of Lockheed-Martin.

K-MAX and Stalker-XE, the duo of UAVs used during the demonstration of Lockheed-Martin.

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