Adapting Drone Technology to Optimize Life Saving Efforts
Go Unmanned explores adaptations to sophisticated drone technology in aiding the first responder.
Exploring the versatility of the impressively powerful XT Aerial Thermal Imaging Kits, Go Unmanned ventures into custom adaptations to get the most out of life saving operations encountered in real life accidents and disasters.
The challenge was set upon us to engineer a device that would work in combination with our powerful drone Zenmuse XT system to aid in delivering rescue materials to someone in high-risk situations in dire need of rescue.
Real World Application
Go Unmanned has recently been conducting personnel training and platform modification testing to support many Search and Rescue scenarios. Based on this testing, we have determined that certain platforms are uniquely capable in supporting swift water rescue, as well as being capable of delivering supplies to anyone who may be stranded in difficult to reach locations for any particular reason or incident.
The Matrice 600 (M600) is DJI’s new flying platform designed for professional aerial photography and industrial applications. It is built to closely integrate with a host of powerful DJI technologies, including the A3 flight controller, Lightbridge 2 transmission system, Intelligent Batteries and Battery Management system, for maximum performance and quick setup. Combined with the powerful Zenmuse XT Infrared Imaging system makes this drone an indispensible tool aiding responders to quickly and efficiently aid people in time of urgent need.
Taking it a step further, we spotted the opportunity to modify the standard Matrice 600 with technology capable of carrying and delivering additional payload. The results are incredibly thrilling and promising of future innovations.
*M100: Flight times vary based on payload and flight conditions, with a maximum 35 minute flight time being recorded when hovering with dual TB48D batteries and no additional payload other than a Zenmuse XT gimbal camera.
*M600: Flight times vary based on payload and flight conditions, with a maximum 40 minute flight time being recorded when hovering with six TB48S batteries and no additional payload other than a Zenmuse XT gimbal camera.
Everything You Need, Nothing You Don’t
Available in either 640×512 or 336×256 resolutions, FLIR’s Aerial Thermal Imaging Kits have optimized resolution and optics to make sure you’ll have the right combination of situational awareness, magnification, and area coverage to suit your mission requirements. Plus, there are options for single and dual-control, so you can have a separate operator dedicated to running the camera while another focuses on flying the drone.
When you get right down to it, the main purpose of any drone is to position a sensor in three-dimensional space; when that sensor is a FLIR thermal imager, you expand the possibilities for drone operators and thermal inspectors alike. Using FLIR thermal imaging from small drones brings new capabilities to dozens of applications like search and rescue, the inspection of power lines, cell towers, bridges, substations, and buildings, firefighting, precision agriculture, and natural resource and wildlife protection.
The Process of Innovation: Go Unmanned's Search & Rescue Drill
At 9 AM on Tuesday, October 4th, 2016, Go Unmanned executed a search and rescue drill at Lake Jordan in Apex, North Carolina. Technicians received a call that an endangered person had been swept into the water and was in need of rescue. Go Unmanned’s drone technicians quickly pulled onto the scene and prepared their drones for take-off. Within minutes, Brenden Bottum located the missing person using a Matrice 100 drone platform with a Zenmuse XT thermal camera attached to it. The Zenmuse XT, developed by FLIR and DJI, provides accurate temperature measurements that are capable of recognizing differences between the water and body temperature, giving Bottum a clear image and location on the missing person.
Bottum immediately used radio communication to notify Tyler Holloway of the person’s location. Holloway deployed a modified Matrice 600 drone platform into the air. The modified platform was adjusted to safely carry and drop up to twelve pounds of survival equipment using a 200-foot towline. With two personal flotation devices (PFDs) in tow, Holloway guided the drone to the missing person and descended the aircraft to accurately drop the PFDs to the person in need.
Dropping flotation devices aided the endangered person to stay afloat until a boat could rescue him. In an emergency situation such as this, time is critical and any assistance is of great importance. Not only will the drone aid in locating a person in a timely manner, but it can provide water/food, radios, etc. until further help can arrive.
Without further discussion, it is clear to see the value and importance available to us in the utilization of expanding drone technologies. Using new tools available to us is the future in the ongoing effort to save lives and assist those in need.
Tyler Holloway prepares the Matrice 600 for the rescue mission
The Matrice 600 takes off smoothly with its adapted rescue hook
Completely orchestrated from land, the Matrice 600 quickly locates the rescue victim
Hovering from above, the adapted rescue hook drops on target to the victim below
Secure with a life preserver, the rescue victim is prepared to wait until help arrives
Rescue drones outfitted with payload capable cargo hook and integrated thermal camera
Flying rescue provisions to someone stranded or in urgent need is the next best use for a drone we can think of. After months of development, we found our perfect combination between the light, but powerful, Matice and a small and sturdy, lightweight hook that enables the nimble Matrice to climb the skies caring up to 12 pounds! That's just enough to get a rescue package quickly and efficiently to someone when their lives are in the clenches of time.
Additionally, the camera on the DJI Zenmuse XT is developed by FLIR. It provides high-sensitivity (50mK) infrared scanning at 640/30 fps or 336/30 fps depending on the camera model. This sensitivity provides accurate temperature measurements ideal for analytics and telemetry. Both cameras are available with four lens options to meet different business needs. Stabilized and controlled by a custom DJI gimbal, it provides smooth, clear imagery and 360 degrees of seamless rotational movement.
This powerhouse combo can provide rescuers with the tools they need when time and efficiency are both factors in perilous conditions.
Standard First Responder Matrice Rescue Hook and XT Zenmuse Packages we offer:
First Responder Everything You Need Matrice Rescue Cargo Hook Packages:
Give us the challenge of your vision for drone applications in the field. We'll put our expertise to the test to best integrate equipment with new technology systems... granting you the tools to accomplish your goals soundly, efficiently and economically. Please contact us for more application information on the subject you are interested in.
The UAV rescue mission team below (from left to right): Kyle Sheats, Maria Kolar, Brenden Bottum, Chuck Harris, Richard Mankin, Tyler Holloway and Dan Cooley