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How Drones are Useful in Forest Fire Response

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are already in use for controlling fires in urban areas and places where people reside. These UAVs are usually quadcopters that are quite effective in hovering in one place.

In the event of a fire, the primary objective of using drones is to gather situational awareness, which can be used to direct the efforts of the firefighters in locating and controlling hot spots.

Just like urban fires, forest fires too require monitoring so that firefighters know what they are dealing with.

Forest fires are different from urban fires; they are hard to control (sometimes cannot be controlled) and pose a greater threat to people and property. Here, drones can play a crucial role in detecting, containing, and extinguishing forest fires.

One example of drones to combat forest fires is that of California National Guards, who are using MQ-9 Reaper (military reconnaissance drones) to assist emergency responders in controlling forest fires. They have already provided crucial assistance in massive forest fires, which include Mendocino Complex Fire and Carr Fire.

Before we dive into how drones are used in this context, it is important to understand why they are used.

Why Drones are Used in Controlling Forest Fires?


In the event of a forest fire, time is of the essence. This is why it makes sense to use a drone for two primary purposes: initial detection and initial rescue. Here is a further breakdown:

  • Drones can quickly be airborne, fly to a location, map the area affected by the fire, and share the information to all relevant agencies within a couple of minutes.
  • A drone can carry a whole range of sensors, including a thermal camera that supports multiple color pallets. The combination of all these sensors provides a better picture of the spread and speed of the fire, which can help civil authorities to come up with a relief plan.

How Are Drones Used in Forest Fires?


Drones are useful especially in forest fires that are difficult to control. They are primarily used for collecting information and during post-incident recovery. Their usage can be explained as follows:

Information gathering: During a forest fire it is important for firefighters to know whether they are hitting the hot spots, which is difficult and dangerous for the ground crew since such fires tend to spread over a large area.

Here drones carrying a thermal camera can do the job much more efficiently. A pilot flying a drone can cover a large area and identify hot spots using the thermal camera. Thermal cameras like DJI Zenmuse XT offer multiple color palettes that can precisely identify hot and cold zones giving a better idea of the kind of temperatures the responders are dealing with.

Learn how DEEP (The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) has been using drones to combat forest fires.


Aid and protection: Fighting any kind of fire is an occupational hazard for firefighters. But forest fires can move in any direction depending on the wind. This means a firefighter on the ground fighting a forest fire without the knowledge of the spread can easily get trapped.

The footage captured by a drone can provide insights about the spread and direction of the fire. This information can protect firefighters from going too close to the inferno.

Terrain Mapping: Footage captured from a drone can be converted into a 3D map allowing civil authorities to ascertain the extent of the damage. This information is useful during post-incident relief work and for insurance companies to verify damage claims.

Real-time Awareness: Any kind of relief work requires resources, and for that situational awareness is required for planning. In 2018, wildfire threatened the town of Hechingen, Germany, which was facing severe drought and the water level dropped below 50%.

The fire department of Hechingen was called in to control the blaze. The fire was close to a remote country road far away from water sources and covered an area close to 5000 square meters. DJI M210 drones, with Zenmuse XT and X4S cameras, were put to the test and flown over the area to gather intelligence. Aerial imagery showed the firefighters the hot spots and the spread of the fire; accordingly, they planned to carry water, in fire engines, to the spot and control the blaze.

Thus, drones played an important role in providing intelligence for decision making.

How FlytNow Enhances the Capabilities of Drones Fighting Forest Fires


FlytNow is a cloud-based fleet management solution that provides a unified dashboard for managing a fleet of drones. The dashboard provides access to drone-mission planning, live telemetry, and video streams from all connected drones over a 4G/LTE/5G network. Below is an illustration of how the solution works.

How Drones are Connected to FlytNow?


FlytNow supports a wide variety of drones including the popular DJI Mavic and Matrice series of drones.

Connecting a DJI drone is extremely simple; download and install the FlytOS mobile app and connect the mobile with the RC of the drone. The mobile application acts as a relay between the drone and the cloud application. Live telemetry and the video feed are sent to the FlytNow cloud server over the mobile network.

Custom drones also work with FlytNow by leveraging a single board computer (SBC). An SBC with the operating system is connected to the flight controller of the drone, which communicates with FlytNow either through Wifi or a GSM module.

Establishing a Localized Command Center Using FlytNow Business


FlytNow Business is a standard offering that comes with out of the box features. This solution is ideal for setting up a localized command center to manage drones working to bring a forest fire under control.

A forest fire can burn for days before it’s brought under control, so it becomes important for fire officials to stay close to the situation and monitor it. Following are the features that would allow firefighters to set up a command center and some ways they can be used:

  • FlytNow Business can be accessed from a web browser. A firefighter with a laptop or a tablet can log in to the FlytNow dashboard and see the statuses of all connected drones. Like a command center, he/she can manage and control all drones from a single dashboard.


FlytNow for drone forest fire

  • FlytNow Business comes with an advanced mission planner that allows for setting up a flight path for a drone. Using the mission planner, a fire official can program a drone to fly over a defined perimeter and map it in order to understand the spread of the fire.
  • It can stream live video and telemetry from all connected drones. Using this feature, a fire official can see the video feeds (at ultra-low latency) from all connected drones on the dashboard and even share them with various agencies either via email or using the built-in team management. This would allow for better coordination among different agencies.


fire fighting response team

  • The dashboard supports multiple views for different kinds of operations. For example, in a search and rescue operation, an operator can switch to the IR view to detect the heat signature of people trapped by the fire.


Drones wildfire response

In the case of DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual and Matrice 210 V2 Dual, the dashboard supports MSX, which generates high contrast thermal images with lines and edges, and multiple color palettes including isotherms. Using the color palettes, a firefighter can identify hot and cold regions, which can aid in the identification of hot spots.

Early detection of forest fires

  • FlytNow Business can be integrated with cloud servers like AWS S3 for the storage of video captured during firefighting operations. These videos can later be used for training purposes.

Establishing an Automated Drone Based Response System Using FlytNow Enterprise


FlytNow Enterprise is a customizable offering that includes all the features of the Business version plus additional features. It can be used to set up a fully automated response system that can be integrated with ground-based hardware (Drone-in-a-Box and charging pads) and computer-aided dispatch systems like 911. A system like this would function in the following way.

drones for fighting forest fires

  • An emergency operator receives a forest fire alert through the computer-aided dispatch system.
  • The alert is routed to the nearby fire stations. A fire official logs in to the FlytNow dashboard and selects the alert, which pinpoints the fire’s location.
  • The firefighter requests a drone recon over the area. The response system (powered by FlytNow Enterprise) automatically creates a mission and selects a nearby drone station ( Drone-in-a-Box hardware). FlytNow Enterprise supports all popular Drone-in-a-Box hardware.
  • The drone receives the command and flies off autonomously. FlytNow Enterprise supports integration with UTM service providers like Airmap for airspace intelligence to support BVLOS flights.
  • On reaching the location, the drone starts recording and sends out a live video feed for the firefighter to see.
  • A firefighter has the option to use AI features like object detection to identify certain ground objects, for example, a hotspot.
  • The drone continues the mission until its battery becomes low. It goes back to the station and lands on the DiaB hardware using the precision landing feature by FlytNow Enterprise. The solution makes it safe for the drone to fly autonomously with advanced failsafe that allows a drone to do an emergency landing in case of a hardware failure.

Summary


In this blog, we understood the importance of drones and how they are used in controlling forest fires. We discussed in detail the challenges that drones allow firefighters to overcome, and how FlytNow as a solution enhances the capabilities of drones.

You can implement FlytNow today with our 28 days free trial and see yourself how FlytNow can enhance your workflow with drones. Making the justification of using drones even stronger.

Source:https://flytnow.com/drones-in-forest-fire-response/

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FREEWING F-86 EDF REVIEW

Buds F-86 low pass crop

 I’ve never owned an electric ducted fan (EDF) airplane. I like to watch turbine models fly because they are fast and the sound is awesome. If money were no object I’d probably own a couple of them. The smell of kerosene takes me back to my days in the Air Force. The problem with turbines is the cost and field requirements. There are some kits out there that are more than capable of grass field operation but you better be good to your retracts and able to manage a short approach over the trees on the north end of the field when the wind commands it.

EDF’s on the other hand are very affordable, but most sound like an electric leave blower. There are a lot of bad kits, poor designs, weak gear and low performance options out there. Taking off from the grass needs good performance and stout landing gear. Some of the better performers use fixed gear to save weight and provide landing gear that can take the bashing a grass take off and landing deals out. There are hand launch and bungie launch-able kits, but they are small and not as cool as something that has retracts and size. I’ve seen plenty of these at the field over the years. Some run up and down the field without achieving take off speed. Others offer very short flight time and require a launcher for the bungy or trade fixed gear for speed.

What I was looking for was a plane that could take off from our field, had retracts and sounded like a turbine. I wanted to get 5 minute flight times and be able to use my existing LiPo batteries to power it. It needed to have reasonable wing loading because I have been known to fly pretty low and tight.

The search was on! Right away it became clear that Freewing seemed to offer the best quality in EDF kits. I started to look for suppliers carrying that brand. After my bad experience with the HK C-47 I wanted somebody that stood by their products with fast support. it has developed a good reputation over the years and is a Freewing dealer. Their prices are reasonable and shipping is free on orders over $99.

I started looking at the battery requirements. Since I fly 550 and 700 sized heli’s I have an abundance of 6s 5000mAh packs. My other packs are either 3S or sub 3000mAh 4s.  It quickly became clear that I was going to need to look at a plane with a EDF unit in the 80-90mm range. This narrowed the selection significantly. 

Now the search was focused on the landing gear. Big LiPo’s add mass and retracts on a grass field equal stress on the gear. All the pretty scale jets with tiny nose wheels were quickly dropped from my list. Those wheels were far more likely to dig into the ruts, bumps and clumps on our field. This was confirmed in the reviews I read. The sport jets available with bigger wheels looked good, but had short flight times of around 3.5 minutes caused by the 90mm fans pushing them around. Thats the price of EDF speed. The search moved to scale jets of the '40s '50s and ‘60s. These jets had less intricate landing gear designs and bigger wheels because of the technology of the day. In addition early jets had relatively low power so they usually had more wing area which would slow the plane, but would provide longer flight times.

I read all the reviews on the sellers site and then moved over to RC Groups for the planes I was interested in. It came down to the Freewing ME-262 70mm twin or the Freewing F-86 80mm. Both are popular kits and landing gear is known to be good quality and relatively tough. The ME-262 was more than happy to accept the 6S 5000mAh batteries I have. The F-86 was designed around 6S 3700mAh to 4500mAh batteries. Hummm looks Like I either buy batteries or the ME-262. As I read about the 262 I started seeing some issues with the forward fuselage strength and ESC failures. I looked at how close the engine pods are to the ground and started considering flight time of one 5000mAh battery powering two 70mm fans.

I dug further into the F-86 thread on RCG and discovered that while not designed for it quite a few people had opted to use 5000mAh batteries with very little modification. It really depends on the pack you use since their dimensions vary quite a bit. As I read further it was more and more common. With throttle management people were getting 5 minute flight times which was one of my criteria.  It became clear that both planes would be a pain to assemble the wings to the fuselage at the field because of the short and abundant servo, ESC and throttle leads.  The 262 has a 60” wing span while the F-86 is closer to 48”. Clearly another criteria I needed to consider was size and transportability. I could get either in my car, but the ME-262 was going to be tight when you consider I usually take several aircraft to fly and my wife also packs along at least one heli and plane to fly.

I started to do some YouTube research next to see how the two planes appeared to fly and what kind of fields people were using them on. There are also a number of video reviews and unboxings to see what to expect in the way of packing and kit quality. Generally the planes looked great and both were flown off of grass fields. The 262 is pretty fast while the F-86 looked scale in flight.

This is where the scale started leaning heavily in the F-86 favor. The SOUND! While the ME-262 was a twin it still had the normal EDF leaf blower sound generated by its 6 blade fans. The F-86Its hard to believe but with the combination of 12 blade fan, scale sized nose air intake coupled with a louvered cheater air inlet in the bottom of the fuselage it sounds VERY much like a turbine in flight. The more I heard it the more I was sure this was the plane I would buy. 

With the model decision made for the F-86 I read up on issues people were having with the kit. The biggest issues were main gear tearing out due to insufficient glue holding them and a CG issue. The bigger problem was the nose heavy CG when setup using the instructions 165mm recommendation. People were saying that it took a very long take off run even with flaps to get airborne (beating the poor landing gear to death no doubt) and all the elevator they could give it to rotate for lift off at the end of the long take off run. Some were convinced it was an issue with the incidence in the elevator as people were maxing out the elevator throws and requiring a ton of nose up trim. They had to make fast landings in order to retain enough elevator authority to flare. It turns out the issue was all about an incorrect CG recommendation in the instructions. The Freewing F-86 is happy with a CG point of 190 to 200mm as measured from the lead edge of the wing root. With this CG range the plane lifts off relatively quickly with flaps and has no need for elevator trim or excessive speed on landings.

I ordered theF-86 from www.freewing-model.com.com  You can get it as a kit or PNP. Mine was the PNP version. It needs only a receiver and battery pack to fly. I ordered on a Monday morning and the plane was at my door via UPS Thursday afternoon. No box damage was noted and it was double boxed. The packing was extremely good. The planes condition and paint were both excellent. The level of detail in the planes markings and decals is amazing for a foamy! All control surfaces were already connected to their servos.

The only assembly is to glue the aft section to the front section of the fuselage using the glue provided with the kit, screw on the elevator and rudder assemblies with 4 screws, put the two wing halves together with a carbon tube for support and attach the wing to the fuselage with 4 screws. The biggest deal in this is connecting all the servo leads at the tail and wing to fuselage. Take your time doing this as the slack is short in the leads and you don’t want to take it apart to re-accomplish this if you get a wire crossed. It is highly recommended that you check all the servos and gear for proper operation BEFORE starting assembly. This ensures that the servo wires are properly labeled so you don’t get something like a flap moving when you move an aileron. In my case everything was labeled correctly and worked fine. The finished plane looks VERY scale.

Because I was running bigger than normal batteries I had to do a couple of minor modifications to get them to fit under the canopy hatch.  The first thing was relocate the ESC and battery. In order to get the CG to the 190mm point I had to move the ESC from its stock location to the rearmost point under the hatch area. There is a clear plastic cover that can be opened up in this area to permit air going to the fan to help cool the ESC. I cut a hole in the clear plastic and then hot glued the ESC there. Next I had to relieve the cockpit floor in the hatch to the point that it was paper thin in the area under the pilot figure plus cut a hole in the area in front of the pilot figure to make room for the batteries wires to clear. Once I had removed enough foam I reinforced the section I had relieved with thinned 5 minute epoxy. Others have had to do nothing more than move the ESC to get the battery in the right position. It really depends on the battery you are using. I also decided to glue a scrap piece of foam in front of the battery to keep it from shifting in flight. I would normally use velcro for this, but because space over the battery was tight I had to go this route. The kits packing had some pieces that were perfect for the job.

More info: http://www.freewing-model.com

 

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When we think about commercial drones, we mainly see them as a tool for aerial inspection and monitoring, since a lot of applications happen in this context. According to phillybyair.com, the construction industry was the largest user of drones, in terms of usage, in 2019, which further strengthens the perception of widespread use by this industry. 

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the commercial drone ecosystem; we are now witnessing a rapid adoption of drones by various government agencies across the world for public safety use cases. For instance, during the global pandemic lockdown, police officials in the state of Gujarat, India created the country’s first drone command center from where a fleet of drones was managed to monitor the streets of the city of Ahmedabad; read the full case study

If we dig deeper into the use of drones for public safety, there is one use case that is not often talked about, drones for highway patrolling. No! You won’t be getting a speeding ticket from a drone any time soon. But what drones can do is to act as first responders in emergency situations happening on highways. Clearly, drones aren’t meant to catch criminals and speeding vehicles, they are more like eyes-in-the-sky that provide situational awareness when something goes wrong. 

Why Use Drones for Highway Patrolling


With regards to highway patrolling, drones provide the following advantages:

  • A drone can reach a location much faster compared to ground-based vehicles, which is why they are ideal for the role of first responders. 
  • In situations like wildfires or avalanches, where roads get blocked, drones can be sent to assess the situation and identify people who are in distress.
  • Drones can help optimize the resources to be deployed for emergency response, by providing crucial first-hand information on a fast-evolving situation to human first responders (police, fire, and paramedic). 
  • Drones can carry a variety of payloads, such as Automated External Defibrillators. A drone carrying an AED can save lives by rapidly reaching someone having a cardiac arrest in remote areas.

Instances of Drones Used for Patrolling


Save people from avalanches: Drones are actively being used in mountainous areas for patrolling ski paths and participating in search and rescue missions, in case of an avalanche.

Drones Used for Patrolling

According to BBC, 90% of avalanche victims survive if rescued within the first 15 minutes, but the odds of surviving drops to 20% after 45 minutes. Thus, the rapid response abilities of drones become ideal for such situations.

In the Czech Republic, there is a nationwide agency called the Mountain Rescue Service of the Czech Republic that actively participates in rescuing people trapped by an avalanche. They rely on a response system based on a network of drones. When an avalanche strikes, mobile vehicles carrying drones go to the affected area and deploy the drones. The drones carry a transceiver to hone into a particular frequency that skiers transmit. In this way, skiers trapped in snow are quickly located and saved. 

Analyze crash sites: Iowa State Patrol has deployed drones to investigate crash sites on highways. Drones equipped with a high-resolution camera can be used to render 3D images and recreate accident sites for investigators. The state patrol is using this technology only for investigating accidents, not to monitor traffic violations.

Drones for Highway patrolling

How FlytNow can Power a Drone Response System for Highway Patrolling


FlytNow is a cloud-based application that offers a web dashboard to manage a fleet of drones. The dashboard has an integrated map that allows live tracking of all connected drones; it also has widgets to control the drones along with their payloads. 

FlytNow comes in two main versions (FlytNow Business and FlytNow Enterprise) for commercial users. 

How Drones are Connected to FlytNow?


FlytNow supports both DJI and custom drones. DJI drones are connected using the FlytOS mobile app. The app connects with the Remote Controller (RC) and establishes a connection with the web application. 

When connecting custom drones based on PX4 and Ardupilot or DJI enterprise drones, a single board computer (SBC) is required; this could be a Raspberry Pi 3b+/4, Odroid N2, DJI Manifold 2, Nvidia Jetson Nano / TX2, etc. that is loaded with the FlytOS operating system and connected with the autopilot of the drone. The SBC allows the drones to communicate with FlytNow and receive instructions over the cloud.

FlytNow Business for Remote Patrolling


FlytNow is a standard offering that provides out of the box features to manage drones remotely. It is ideal for localized response systems that rely on both remote viewing capabilities and the support from local pilots. Here are some of the features that help police officials:

  • FlytNow has a standard web-based dashboard to manage all connected drones. It has panels to monitor the live telemetry data of each drone and the live video feed coming from the drones. An officer having access to the dashboard can inspect an emergency situation remotely, and guide the personnel present at the scene. In the case of a DJI drone, an officer close to a scene might use the mobile app to share the footage with remote officers or an expert.


flytnow getting started

  • FlytNow Business offers integration with a private cloud server to store videos captured by the drones. Police officials can use this feature to maintain a video record of every incident captured by the drones, which might prove to be useful in future investigations.


Drone Response System

  • This version supports the remote control of a variety of payloads, including payloads offered by DJI. Among the supported payloads include a thermal camera, spotlight, and loudspeaker. Such payloads are useful in special circumstances like night time search and rescue missions where time is a critical element.


FlytNow Enterprise


The FlytNow Enterprise version includes everything that the Business version has, plus additional features and the option of customization. This offering is ideal for establishing a full-fledged emergency or disaster response system that includes a network of Drone-in-a-Box installations, multi-user access, and integration with services like 911. Below is an illustration of how a system like this might work:

drone response system

Understanding a drone-based response system using FlytNow Enterprise for highway Patrolling


Here we will explore how a drone-based highway response system might work using a hypothetical situation.  

  • At hour 21:00 on route 66, a tanker collides with a truck and catches fire. A nearby witness calls 911.


drone monitoring of a road accident

  • An emergency operator receives the request and triggers an alert. The alert is then routed to nearby state troopers and the fire service.


drone response center

  • As fire engines are prepared for dispatch, a fire serviceman opens the FlytNow dashboard and selects the fire alert (made possible through integration with 911), which puts a pin on the map.


drone station

  • The fireman requests drone coverage for the scene. Since FlytNow is integrated with a network of drone stations, powered by Drone-in-a-Box (DiaB) hardware, a mission is created automatically and a nearby drone is selected for the task.
  • On receiving the command (over the internet), a drone automatically takes off from a DiaB and flies towards the location. FlytNow automatically selects an optimal path for the drone, taking into consideration airspace norms, by leveraging UTM services like Airmap.


road accident

  • On reaching the location, the drone begins a live-video stream of the incident, providing crucial situational awareness to the firefighters. The stream is broadcasted (the drone maintains communication with FlytNow over 4G/LTE/5G network) to nearby state troopers.
  • A state trooper with special privileges takes secure control of the drone’s camera and initiates a thermal scan to identify victims. The object detection capability of FlytNow allows the drone to identify crash victims. The trooper passes the information to the paramedics.
  • When the battery of the drone becomes low, the drone automatically returns to the DiaB to recharge and stay ready for the next mission.

     

Summary


In this blog, we discussed the fast-evolving adoption of drones in public safety operations, especially highway patrolling. We touched upon the utility of drones in patrolling operations and specific instances where drones have saved lives.

We then discussed how FlytNow, as a solution, enables emergency responders to build a system where drones can autonomously go to an emergency situation and provide situational awareness.

If you or your police department is interested in such a drone system, then try our 28 days free trial of FlytNow Pro. This version allows you to immediately demonstrate the power of drones for public safety.

Or contact us at https://flytnow.com/contact/ for the Business or Enterprise version.

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T-Drones M1200

Hello anybody here.

Today i would like to introduce one type drones M1200. This is an almost perfect drone for industrial filed.

One of the biggest feature is ultra-light. Please refer to the picture as below:

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T-Drones has been cooperating with T-Motor all the time. We use T-Motor power system, so the quality is surely great.

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The biggest advantage is long-endurance flight time.

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No worry about your environment when you use T-Drones M1200

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It can be applicated in:

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Are you interested in M1200? If you want to know more types of T-Drones, feel free to contact me.

Email:bella@tmotor.com

Skype:bella@tmotor.com

Wechat:xjj199559

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A Cool Guy T-Drones(T-Motor)

Hello,

It is a pleasure to meet you here.

I am from T-Drones team. Which is dedicated to manufacturing drones in the industrial field.

We can provide professional R&D, production and OEM service.

What's more, T-Drones had been cooperating with T-Motor all the time.The quality is surely great.

T-drones focuses on long-endurance flights. The main features: light weight, small size, and large battery capacity. Which can be applicated for cruise, survey,mapping etc.

If anybody is interested in T-Drones or wants to know more, feel free to contact me.

Email:bella@tmotor.com

Skype:bella@tmotor.com

 

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If you are looking for the hardware to diy a drone by your own?

If you find it's hard to get the drone parts with competitive cost?

If you are looking for a drone with light weight and long endurance?

T-Drones is here happy to offer the solutions.

T-Drones M690A 0.5-1kg payload, 60-70mins flight time by battery;
T-Drones M690B 1-2kg payload, 50-60mins flight time
T-Drones M690 folding version , 350*320*130mm size to take away.
 

Any query:

Email: t-drones@outlook.com

What's app:+ 86 15070853230

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Drones are eyes in the sky for firefighters. They can serve as an essential firefighting tool for people in the fire services, especially in and around urban centers, where a deadly inferno might occur in a highrise building. 

Drone for fire fighting can equip fire officials with the latest technology, and add complementary capabilities to the existing resources such as fire trucks, ladders, specialized suits, etc. Firefighters can now acquire aerial information in a quick, cost-effective manner. 

In 2016, a tragic fire broke out in a warehouse in Oakland, California. The warehouse had been converted into a living space called Ghost Ship. The fire, which claimed the lives of 36 people, is one of the deadliest in the history of Oakland. Drones, equipped with a thermal camera, were used by firefighters to identify hotspots and search the unsafe-building after the fire was extinguished.

The effectiveness of drones is rapidly catching on, as agencies around the world begin to adopt this technology. In the US, more than 900 state and local agencies related to the emergency services are using drones one way or another; out of them, approximately, 186 is believed to be related to fire and emergency medical services.

Can Drones (UAVs) Put Out a Fire?


This is a common question that people often ask. A short answer is No, drones are more useful in acquiring situational awareness about the fire and its surroundings. Firefighters can use this information to control the fire and ultimately put it off. However, there are a few companies that are equipping drones with water hoses or fire extinguishing materials.

How Are Drones Used During Firefighting?


How Are Drones Used During FirefightingSituational awareness: In a typical scenario where a fire has broken out in a building, firefighters arrive at the spot and begin their operation with limited information about the extent of the fire and damage it has caused to the structure. 

Instead, with a fleet of drones, firefighters can begin with an aerial assessment of the scene and know the extent of the fire before starting their rescue operation.

Reach difficult places: Drones are efficient in going to tight spaces since they are nimble and agile, and deploying them first avoidings putting humans in unsafe situations.

Thermal assessment: In a firefighting situation,  firefighters work against the clock to save the lives and integrity of the structure. That is why it is important to direct their efforts towards the source of a fire.  Drones equipped with a thermal camera can assist firefighters to identify hotspots inside a blazing structure. Accordingly, firefighters can direct their efforts to bring the situation under control. 

Search and rescue:  Firefighters are actively involved in search and rescue missions. A thermal camera drone can do the job of 100 people by scanning a large area and identifying people in distress. During a natural calamity like an earthquake, thermal camera drones can fly over fallen structures and identify trapped individuals, and even identify dangerous leakages.

What Kind of Drones and Payloads are Commonly Used During Firefighting?


Drones come in all shapes and sizes, but not all of them are suitable for firefighting operations. The more suitable ones are off-the-shelf drones from the likes of DJI and custom drones based on open source stacks mainly PX4 and Ardupilot. Here are some of the drones that are considered fit for such kind of tasks:


Drones are not usable without the appropriate payloads. For firefighting purposes, these are some common payloads that are used:

  • Zenmuse XT2 (a thermal camera for DJI drones) 
  • Zenmuse Z30 (a normal camera with 30x zoom for DJI drones)
  • Zenmuse H20 (A hybrid camera that combines a wide-angle camera, 23x optical zoom camera, thermal camera, and laser rangefinder for DJI drones)

How FlytNow Can Make Drone Operations a Lot Smarter for the Firefighters

Traditional Challenges in Using Drones for Firefighting


The conventional way of using drones, during firefighting, is a pilot controlling a drone using the remote controller (RC). Here, the pilot becomes the relay point of all the information collected by the drone. This method of using drones may be simple, but is not very effective, since multiple pilots are required to control multiple drones. On top of the human resource requirement, there are several other disadvantages, as follows:

  • It becomes difficult for a drone pilot to share the data with different agencies and ground personnel, which hinders coordination.
  • Difficult to archive flight data, which makes it problematic for the future analysis of an emergency situation.
  • Data collected from multiple drones cannot be stitched together for better situational awareness. 
  • Sharing live data becomes difficult, more so when multiple drones are involved. 
  • Drone response can’t be automated since they can’t be integrated with emergency response systems like the 911 operations centers.

How FlytNow Helps in Overcoming the Traditional Challenges


FlytNow is a fleet management system that helps public safety officials to overcome challenges in using drones for firefighting. 

FlytNow is a cloud-based application that provides a unified dashboard to control a fleet of drones. It has two versions (Business and Enterprise) that cater to two different use cases.

drones for public safetyHow Drones are Connected to the FlytNow Cloud Application


FlytNow is a hardware-agnostic cloud platform meaning it supports different kinds of drones. Users using DJI drones can use the FlytOS mobile app to connect the drones to the cloud application. 

In the case of custom drones, a single board computer loaded with the FlytOS operating system can be attached to the flight controller of the drone, to facilitate communication with the FlytNow application over a 4G/LTE/5G network.

flytcloud

FlytNow Business


FlytNow Business is a standard offering that provides out of the box features in the form of SaaS (Software as a Service). This version is useful in establishing a quick command center, locally, for a particular response to manage the drones in operation. 

Some of the unique features and benefits that it provides are as follows:

  • It provides a web-based dashboard with an integrated map to control a fleet of drones. Using this feature, a single operator can control the movement of multiple drones, thus saving cost and time.drone firefighting operation
  • The dashboard offers live telemetry and visual data from all connected drones, with dual control from both the RC and the web dashboard. This allows for coordinated drone operations where data from multiple drones can be stitched together and shared for better situational awareness. firefighters using drone
  • The Business edition has out of the box support for live video-streaming from multiple drones that can be shared with anyone using their email address.flytnow for remote firefighting operations
  • A viewer can switch between ‘normal’ view (RBG) and ‘thermal’ view (IR) if the drone is equipped with an IR sensor. In the case of DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual and DJI M210 V2 Dual, the FlytNow dashboard provides the MSX view that shows the lines and edges, along with the contrast, to differentiate between regions with different temperatures.using thermal camera with drone
  • Along with MSX, FlytNow gives the option to switch between different color pallets like Rainbow, Hotspot, Gray, Isotherms, Hotmetal, and Coldspot for the M2E Dual.using drones for fire fighting
  • Thermal imaging allows firefighters to identify hot spots and see whether they are hitting the fire. In a post-fire situation,  a thermal drone can carry out an inspection of the outer facades of the building, and send the live footage using FlyNow to a structural engineer sitting hundreds of miles away for a better assessment.
  • The business version has out of the box support for DJI payloads (eg. Dual Camera, Spotlight, etc) for drones such as Mavic 2 Enterprise and the Matrice 200 series. These payloads are specially designed for emergency operations.drone payloads for fire fighting
  • Apart from DJI payloads, it supports remote control of the gimbal, on which the camera is attached, via the web dashboard. This allows a remote viewer to control the camera angle for a better visual.

FlytNow Enterprise


The Enterprise version adds customization and addons to the Business edition. This version is ideal for setting up a drone-based emergency response system with the following capabilities:

  • A system that is integrated with a dispatch system like the 911
  • Integration with a decentralized network of drone stations supported by Drone-in-a-Box hardware, which allows for automated dispatch of drones.
  • A unified dashboard that can be part of a command center, which allows for the control and management of the drones over 4G/LTE/5G. 


With respect to fire fighting, the Enterprise version offers advantages such as:

  • AI-based features like object detection to help identify people trapped under debris or lost in a forest.
  • The ability of public safety officials to maintain detailed flight-record of each and every drone flight, to comply with airspace norms. All these legal requirements and complexities are solved using FlytNow Enterprise’s native support for DroneLogbook (a flight data recording service) and Airmap (a UTM service). 
  • Support for custom maps, so that operators can adjust to the terrain over which drones are flying.

Summary


In this blog, we discussed the importance of drones for firefighting and how they can be used to save time, resources, and lives. We also touched upon the kind of drones and payloads used for fire fighting operations. Finally, we ended by showcasing the benefits that FlytNow provides by allowing the usage of drones at scale with data availability for proper coordination. 

If you (plan to) use drones for public safety, then FlytNow is the right software platform to allow you to leverage cloud technology for better management and transparency of your drone operations. You can get started with our 28 days of a free trial. You can also contact us at https://flytnow.com/contact/

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Hey guys,

Nimbus series planes have a new member: Nimbus Pro. It is a professional VTOL(vertical take-off and landing) fixed-wing plane for mapping, aerial survey, and inspection mission. It comes with four lift motors and one fixed-wing motor, which will allow the mapping VTOL to ascend like a helicopter. For the mapping mission, the fixed-wing motor will make the drone fly like a plane.

Fast deploy
Due to its modular airframe design, Nimbus Pro mapping VTOL can be set up in less than 5 minutes by a single man.

Long endurance
The Nimbus Pro survey drone can fly up to 100 minutes with a 6S 25000mAh lipo battery in a single flight.

Big inner space for payload
The mapping UAV comes with a big internal space to accommodate various mapping cameras and payload.

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Drones are efficient and cost-effective in capturing visual data, on an object, or an earmarked piece of land. That is why they have proliferated into many industries, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are now being used for a variety of monitoring purposes. 

Modern drones are highly capable of monitoring. Powered by intelligent software, drones can be flown over the internet, stream live videos, and cover long distances by leveraging fixed wings.

Using such capabilities, UAV service providers can thus deploy drones to monitor the assets of an airport and even long runways and transmit the live video footage to stakeholders sitting far away. 

Note: Learn how FlytNow powered the very first remote construction site inspection in the city of Lillestrøm, Norway over a 5G network.

Benefits of Using Drones for Airport Asset Monitoring


Drones are a better tool for monitoring than ground-based vehicles, because of the following reasons:

  • Drones are small and agile vehicles that can go in nearly all places, especially those where it might be dangerous for humans to go. 
  • A single drone can cover a large area very easily and quickly.  
  • A drone can be fitted with a thermal camera, which might be used during the night time. 
  • Drones can be made smarter by fitting them with companion computers. For example, an operating system like FlytOS, when installed on a companion computer, provides AI-based features like precision landing, object detection, and collision avoidance.
  • Drone-based monitoring can be automated with the help of cloud-connected platforms such as FlytNow.

How FlytNow Business Enabled Dr-ONE to Monitor One of DronePort's Airports


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHWPPKTr_Fs

The infrastructure of an airport requires periodic monitoring for maintenance purposes. One of our partners, DR ONE is leveraging the FlytNow platform to deploy drones for runway, hanger, and airport vegetation monitoring. Compared to conventional methods, aerial monitoring has the following benefits:

  • Minimum disruption to airport operations while monitoring since no land-based equipment is used. 
  • Data is collected by the drones which can be later processed using standardized software. 
  • Since a drone can carry a variety of sensors, there is richness in the data collected by the drones. 
  • The data produced by drones is traceable and reproducible which eliminates any form of subjectivity that an inspector might have. 


By leveraging the capabilities of FlytNow, DR-ONE was able to perform the following activities during a monitoring-mission of one the runways of DronePort (EBR 62), Belgium:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyDl_33_C1Y

  • Using the advanced mission planning feature of FlytNow, they controlled the flight path of their drones over an area close to 88 hectares.
  • The waypoints in FlytNow support the setting of altitude and speed which DR-ONE used to control the flight behavior of drones so they cause minimum disruption to airport operations. The precision settings of FlytNow allowed them to maintain an average speed of 17 km/h during their mission.
  • The live video streaming capability of FlytNow enabled DR-ONE to monitor the runway, other infrastructures like airplane hangars, and the surrounding vegetation. 
  • FlytNow gave DR-ONE a unified dashboard to monitor the entire operation, including the ability to change views from map view to cockpit view. 
  • The geofence feature of FlytNow allowed DR-ONE to conduct safe operations by restricting the flight area of a drone since only a limited section of the airport had to be monitored.  In addition to geofences, FlytNow’s built-in RTH (Return to Home) function allowed them to call their drone back to the base after completing the mission. 

FlytNow Enterprise for Airport Monitoring


The enterprise version of FlytNow provides a whole host of customizations and features to adjust to situational challenges like operating in an airport. Some of them are as follows:

Integration


Airports operate under severe restrictions for the safety of aircraft and people on the ground. The airspace above and around airports is managed and controlled by the Air Traffic Control. So anyone flying a drone inside or close to an airport would require coordination with the Air Traffic Control.

There are service providers that provide intelligence on airspace and detailed map overlays of restricted airspace. FlytNow Enterprise provides REST API that can be used to integrate with such services, enabling service providers like DR ONE to conduct monitoring activities safely without violating any airspace norms.

Add-ons


Both the enterprise and business version support thermal cameras; coupled that with AI-add-ons, available in the enterprise version,  like object detection, an operator can identify damages to the runway and other assets much more easily.

Fleet Management


One of the reasons why drones are useful is because they can cover a large area quickly. Managing multiple drones is the primary pain point that FlytNow solves. Both the enterprise and business version offers a unified dashboard to manage and control a fleet of drones. In monitoring missions, as the one DR-ONE did, multiple drones are beneficial since airports are spread across a large area.

Apart from Runway Pavement Monitoring What Other Places Drones can be Used? 


Here are some of the use cases where drones are being adopted for aerial monitoring: 

Drones are being used to monitor traffic: London Metropolitan Police are using drones to monitor traffic conditions. They are primarily using drones to pip-point drivers engaging in road-rage. 

Crowd Monitoring: During the recent 2020 COVID pandemic, drones were used to monitor the streets of cities in India for catching unlawful gatherings during the lockdown phase. Learn how an Indian startup established India’s first drone command center using FlytNow

Monitoring of Properties: Both commercial and residential real estates are using drones to safeguard their perimeters. A software solution like FlytNow can automate drone-patrolling around a property to protect its perimeter. 

Wild-life monitoring: Drones are being used by forest officials around the world to keep an eye on forest life, and safeguarding it from dangers like poaching and illegal deforestation.

Summary


In this blog, we primarily discussed how DR ONE used the FlytNow platform for the monitoring of assets of an airport with great advantages. A fleet management system like FlytNow makes complex operations like monitoring less challenging and yields some of the following benefits:

  • Time-saving: Since multiple drones can be deployed and managed easily.
  • Cost-saving: A single operator can control and manage multiple drones from a unified dashboard.
  • Compliant:  Operating in an airport means coordination with multiple agencies; the integration features of FlytNow allows for that.


FlytNow is the perfect tool for drone service providers looking to upgrade their capabilities regarding monitoring either of airport assets or any other use case.

What's Next?

Deploy drones in 5 easy steps and leverage the power of FlytNow to conduct remote monitoring with capabilities for automation and AI. To experience FlytNow, sign up for our free trial for 28 days using this link: https://flytnow.com/pricing/

If you are interested in partnering with us, please visit https://flytnow.com/partner/.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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FrSky R9|RXSR Pilot Flight Control

The FrSky Pilot series flight controller is an All-in-One module that supports comprehensive flight control functions with pre-installed powerful INAV (The support of other open-source software like Ardupilot and Betaflight are ongoing.) and F.Port 2.0 software. This control system is targeted towards RC hobby enthusiasts who are looking for a complete system combining power management, a powerful graphic FrSky OSD, and plenty of IOs.

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The R9/RXSR Pilot is comprised of a three-layer stack:

1.A mainboard providing power for servos and for a video system with switchable voltages, current measurement and general connectivity (6 full UARTs, I²C, 12 servo/motor outputs, 2 analog inputs, video input/output)

2.A processing board using a powerful STM32F765 at its core, boasting 1MB of flash memory, and 512KB of RAM capable of running the INAV, Ardupilot and Betaflight flight control software. It integrates an ICM20602 IMU, FrSky’s latest

graphic FrSky OSD

, and an SPL06 high precision barometer. An SPI bus connector allows for optional connection of a second vibration isolated IMU, which can be mounted to the board, or other peripherals. An SD card slot allows for data storage including BlackBox logging. It also includes a piezo audio transducer for system notifications and lost model locating.

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Any FrSky receivers with a standard FPC interface can be connected directly to the processing board (RXSR-FC / R9MM-FC-OTA). All F.Port 2.0 Capable Receivers (Archer and Tandem Series Receivers, etc.), SBUS receivers, and some others with serial ports are also compatible.

FEATURES

 

Supports FrSky

F.Port 2.0

 Protocol

12 Servo/Motor Outputs & Multiple Serial Ports (6 UARTs, I²C, SPI)

Powerful STM32F765 Based Flight Controller is capable Running on INAV / Ardupilot / Betaflight Firmware

Built-in

Graphic FrSky OSD

Supports FrSky S.Port Sensors

Built-in Multiple Sensors

Max 150A Capable Hall-effect Current Sensor

Built-in 3-axis Gyroscope & 3-axis Accelerometer Sensor (ICM20602IMU, ±2000dps, ±16g)

Supports ICM20601/ICM20602/MPU6000 IMU as external gyroscope module with vibration insulated box

Built-in Barometer sensor(SPL06-001)

Adjustable Voltage Output through integrated BEC function

Supports Black Box Data Record Function(via SD card)

Compatible Receiver

Standard FPC Interface on-board receiver with a perfect fit protection box (RXSR-FC/R9MM-FC-OTA, etc.)

All F.Port 2.0 Capable Receivers (Archer and Tandem Series Receivers, etc.)

SBUS Receivers and Some Others with Serial Ports

 

SPECIFICATIONS:

Dimension: 60*45*14mm (L*W*H)

Weight: 35g (Without connector)

Mounting(FC): 30.5*30.5mm with M3 grommets

Mounting(Rx): 13*13mm (R9MM-FC-OTA / RXSR-FC)

Battery Port: XT60 Plug

MCU: STM32F765VG (1MB Flash Memory, 512KB RAM)

IMU: ICM20602 (±2000dps, ±16g)

Barometer: SPL06-001

Graphic OSD:

FrSky OSD

Micro SD Slot

12* PWM Outputs

6* Full UARTs (Any UART can be configured to the S.Port via INAV)

1* I2C

2* Analog Inputs (0-3.3V)

1* Video Input

1* Video Output

1* Piezo Audio Transducer

2* ESC Power Pads

Voltage Range: DC 11.1V~51V (3S~12S Li-Po/Li-ion)

Current Sensor: Max 150A

BECs:

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The ongoing pandemic (COVID-19) has taught us many things. Among those lessons is the realization that drones can be used for operations to save people’s lives.

Even before the pandemic, at AirWorks 2019, DJI announced that drones saved the lives of 279 people around the world. The number probably represents a small fraction of documented cases where drones were used as a means for public safety. For example, during the lockdown that followed after the onset of COVID-19, drones helped Indian authorities to contain the spread of the virus by monitoring the streets for unlawful gathering. Read the full case study.

We have just scratched the surface when it comes to commercial drone usage - drones have tremendous potential in disaster management alone.

In a report from the United Nations, it has been stated that 1.2 million lives were lost, 1.7 trillion dollars of damage was done and 2.9 billion people were affected due to global disasters that occurred between 2002 and 2012. With economic and human losses of this magnitude, every new technology that promises to save lives has a huge potential, including drone technology.

What Problems do Drones Solve During a Disaster Response?


There are several pre-existing protocols that are supposed to be followed during disaster response. Most of them have been successful so far, but they create their own set of challenges. The main one is the response time, which is of great importance during disaster management. The second one is logistical support.

For example, in 2015, an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 devastated the Kathmandu region of Nepal, which claimed the lives of 9000 people. All means of transportation were destroyed which drastically affected the disaster response and relief work. Many people, trapped under the rubble, lost their lives since help didn’t reach them on time.

When the Nepali government appealed for assistance to the international community, help arrived in the form of medical support, food, and relief equipment. Several international agencies came and deployed drones to help better assess the situation and to aid the search and rescue process.

Drones were also used during the 2013 typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. They were mainly deployed to survey the impact of the storm on farmlands and ascertain future risks from similar storms.

Drones help improve the response time, since they can be deployed much faster, as compared to traditional vehicles like a helicopter. Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) drones can cover large distances and assess the situation in an event where all transportation routes have been destroyed or made inaccessible.

Drone Benefits During Disaster Response


The process of disaster management can be broken down into the following stages:

  • Prevention
  • Preparation
  • Reponse
  • Recovery


Using drones for disaster response can add value to all of the above-mentioned stages according to a study from Zurich North America. The study highlights the correlation between a short response during the early phase of disaster recovery with increased success in search and rescue operations.

To better appreciate the benefits of using drones, consider the following:

  • Drones can ensure the safety of people. During the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster 2011, drones were used to survey the extent of the disaster without risking the lives of the relief workers.
  • Drones are quite effective as first responders since they can be deployed fast and easily, as compared to manned aerial vehicles.
  • Drones are relatively inexpensive, and with the help of a drone fleet management system, can be deployed in large numbers as autonomous fleets.

Drone Applications for Supporting Disaster Response


Drones are a versatile tool, to be used in various ways, as a critical aid in disaster response.

  • Drones have long been in use for aerial mapping and surveys. The same application can be easily extended to disaster response. For example, drones were used during the landslide of Oso, Washington in 2014 to map the region after the incident.
  • It often happens during an earthquake that a partially damaged building or a civic structure requires a thorough inspection before it can be deemed safe for humans to go there. Drones equipped with sensors like infrared (IR) cameras can do the job safely.
  • Drones can be used for medical delivery. A US-based company called Matternet did its first field trial of medical delivery using drones to camps set up after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
  • Drones can be used for search and rescue operations. In 2005, fixed-wing drones were used to search for survivors after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi.

How FlytNow Enables Drones for Disaster Relief


Drones are not just a piece of hardware; they are usually paired with intelligent software to make them truly effective. In a disaster situation of a large magnitude, having multiple drones can be advantageous, but managing a swarm of drones is not easy. FlytNow, with its cloud-based software solution, solves the problem of simultaneously controlling and managing a large number of drones.

In brief, FlytNow works as a cloud application that provides a unified dashboard to manage drones connected to the system. When a request comes for deploying a drone, an emergency response operator can use the advanced mission planner to create a flight path for the drone and initiate the launch. Once in the air, the drone flies with full autonomy as per the mission plan. Below is an illustration of how a drone public safety operation might operate:

drones for public safety

FlytNow is available in two versions, FlytNow Business and Enterprise; the latter offers a host of customization options.

FlytNow Business


This is a standard offering that provides usability out of the box. The offering comes with features specifically designed for disaster response and public safety operations. Here are some of those features and how they benefit disaster relief operations:

  • The ability to control drones over 4G/LTE/5G networks. By combining this feature with VTOL drones, a disaster response team can fly drones for long distances, and conduct surveys and mapping of an affected area.
  • Role-based access to the system. Disaster response teams are multi-faceted and not all require the same level of access to the drones. A relief worker on the ground might require only video access compared to someone who is required to assess the entire situation for planning logistics.
  • A mixed fleet of drones. FlytNow is a hardware-agnostic platform i.e. it supports both off-the-shelf and custom drones based on PX4 and Ardupilot. In a disaster situation, different types of drones might be required. For example, delivery drones are heavy and can carry large packages. Whereas, drones meant for surveys are smaller in size and may even have fixed wings for long-distance flight.
  • Live video streaming and sharing. Video feeds from a swarm of drones flying over a disaster affected area can be streamed onto a single unified dashboard, which is ideal for command center operations.

FlytNow Enterprise


The Enterprise version includes FlytNow Business as well as customization and add-ons, for operations that need scalability and a high degree of automation. This edition includes an operating system, which is installed on a single-board computer (SBC) - the SBC is then attached to the flight controller of a drone. This configuration allows for add-ons and integration, some of them are as follows:

AI-based features:

  • Obstacle avoidance, also known as FlytCAS, allows a drone to fly over a complex environment. This feature is useful when a drone is flying over or near ruins which can throw unexpected obstacles.
  • Precision landing, also known as FlytDock, allows a drone to land precisely on a machine-generated visual tag. This feature can be used when a drone has to land on a specific location to make a delivery.
  • Object detection, also known as FlytAI, allows a drone to detect objects from its video feed. This feature can be used to detect moving objects or humans on the ground during a search and resume operation.


Support for third-party integrations: The FlytNow application supports integration with third-party applications. During a disaster scenario, it is important to accurately log the drone flights and to make sure the drones don’t interfere with other aircraft. There are service providers like DronelogBook for flight data recording and Airdata for airspace intelligence, which can be integrated with FlytNow easily.

Advanced geofence: For the safety of the drones and compliance with airspace norms, it is necessary to restrict the area of operation during any relief work. FlytNow supports polygon geofences for operators to work on complex geography.

Integration with ground-based hardware: FlytNow has native support for ground-based hardware like charging pads and Drone-in-a-Box systems. By using such hardware, a first-responder system can be set up where the launch and docking of a drone are fully automated. When disaster strikes, such systems can be activated for faster response and expedite the overall relief process.

Some Instances of FlytNow in Use


During the recent lockdown for COVID-19, India's first drone command center was established in Ahmedabad, by Dronelab, using FlytNow, which allowed local drone pilots to launch coordinated operations to monitor the streets for unlawful gathering.

One of our partners in Belgium, DR ONE, is using FlytNow for airport asset monitoring.

History was created in the city of Lillestrøm, Norway, when Droneverkstedet, one of our partners, conducted the very first remote drone construction site inspection using FlytNow over a 5G network.

Summary


In this blog, we discussed the usability of drones in disaster response and the problems they help solve. Then we reviewed the benefits of using drones for use cases in disaster situations. Finally, we ended on the note of how the FlytNow drone fleet management system enables disaster management teams to quickly deploy and manage drones for disaster relief.

Leverage the power of FlytNow to conduct remote public safety operations with capabilities of automation and AI. To experience FlytNow, sign up for our free trial for 28 days using this link: https://flytnow.com/pricing/

If you are interested in partnering with us, please visit https://flytnow.com/partner/.

Read more…

7473668286?profile=RESIZE_710x

The 900MHz R9 MM-OTA receiver implements the ACCESS protocol and brings the user improved performance and features. The long range receiver supports wireless firmware updates over the air making binding to receivers even easier. As well as the convenience of checking the current receiver firmware version. The R9 MM’s compact form factor design is also carried over to the OTA version, and the R9 MM-OTA supports inverted S.Port as well.

This receiver works compatible with the new release R9M Lite Pro module,and the other 900MHz modules will also be supported when the ACCESS firmware is available.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Dimension: 16*10*2.8mm (L×W×H)

Weight: 0.7g (without antenna)

Number of Channels:

Non-LBT Version: 4/16CH (Telemetry)

LBT Version: 4/16CH (Telemetry) / 4/16CH (No Telemetry)

Operating Voltage Range: DC 3.5V – 10V

Operating Current: 100mA@5V

Operating Range: Up to 10km or above

Compatibility: R9M Lite/R9M/R9M 2019 with ACCST firmware

                            R9M Lite/R9M Lite Pro/R9M 2019 with ACCESS firmware

FEATURES:

915MHz (Non-LBT Version)/ 868MHz (LBT Version)

Mini size and super lightweight

Supports OTA firmware update

Supports firmware version check

S.Port enabled and support telemetry data transmission

(Support F.Port, download firmware to support the function)

Inverted S.Port enabled

Low latency and high precision

With RSSI output in SBUS

Battery voltage detection supported

Detachable Ipex connector antenna

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This is going to be the 2nd Part of the Recommended Battery Series for FrSky Transmitter X9D Plus Transmitter. Don’t get confused with the title that FrSky X9D 2019 requires different batteries than x9d plus as you might think there are some changes in the battery compartment of it. But that is not the case. in fact, the battery compartment of X9d 2019 is exactly the same as of old Taranis X9d Plus. 

However, there is a special reason why this article is focused on Taranis X9D Plus 2019 rather than focusing on X9d plus in general. It is because X9D 2019 only supports operating voltage between 6.5v to 8.4v, which is basically a 2S lipo or Li-Ion. But, the older x9d plus (SE also) supports a wide range of operating voltage between 6 to 15V which means it can support even a 3s Lipo or Li-ion. 

FrSky Taranis X9D 2019 has also some other difference with older Taranis X9D when it comes to battery and charging. Older Taranis X9D plus has a Ni-Mh battery charging circuit that allows you to charge the stock battery with a charger that comes with it. Please note that the charging circuit is specifically for 6 cell Ni-Mh batteries and do not try to charge any other batteries like Li-Po or Li-ion in it. It is recommended to use the FrSky Ni-Mh with the charger if you are planning to charge the battery without actually removing the battery from the radio.

When it comes to X9D Plus, it only supports 2S batteries, and you might think about using the Ni-Mh battery with it. Of course, you can the Ni-MH battery in it. But don’t think to charge the battery using the transmitter, DON’T DO IT!!! FrSky X9D 2019 transmitter has a 2S lithium battery charging circuit in it that supports the charging through Mini USB Cable. 

That is specifically made for lithium batteries and above all, only for 2S batteries. Hence don’t charge the stock Ni-Mh battery using the supported USB charging in case you are going to use that battery in the New X9D 2019.  

Hence you can use the batteries that will fit in the Taranis X9D compartment for the FrSky X9D 2019 as well. In the last article, we have discussed FrSky Ni-MH 2000Mah battery, which is actually a good one. I still have a 4-year-old of that battery with me and it still performs well. So let's get our next candidate. 

3000mAh 2s X9D Li-Po

Check out this 3000mAh 2s Li-Po battery that you can find in amazon and Banggood is a great upgrade for the stock Ni-Mh 2000mah 7.2v battery. In Fact, this battery is specifically designed for FrSky X9D 2019 and other X9D radios as well.

When comparing it with stock Ni-Mh 2000mAh battery, this battery is 3000Mah 2 cell Li-Po. According to the theory, this battery should give you a 50% increased performance in battery life. But that is the only case if it got 3000mAh. However, this battery might disappoint you on that.

After running some tests to confirms the capacity, this battery is proved to be only around 2500mAh even though advertised as 3000mAh. Maybe the manufacturer is overstated it to attract buyers? Anyway, 2500mAh is still a good upgrade compared to the 2000mAh battery.

Usually, the capacity of Li-Po batteries is understated by the manufactures to compensate for any loss that might happen if they are stated as true which will basically give a good performance. So technically speaking, if you have a 1500mAh Lipo battery, the true capacity will be more than 1500mAh. It is usually around 50mAh extra for a 1500mAh Battery, So the battery will have an actual capacity of 1550mAh or 1600mAh.

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Speaking of which, I thought this battery might be around 3100mAh or more, But I am disappointed in that point. Well, I am not disappointed with this battery, if that was the case then this battery won't has listed here. 2500mAh will give you a much better backup time than the stock battery. 

You can get around 6 hours of backup time with the stock Ni-Mh battery. With this 3000mAh battery, you can get around 10 hours of backup time which is indeed a worthy upgrade. When comes to the pricing, you will see it is pretty cheap. You can grab one from banggood or amazon for 15$ which is almost the same as of stock Ni-Mh battery.

Charging

How to Charge:

When it comes to charging, it is pretty easy and you don’t even need to take the battery out of it. How cool is that? FrSky X9D 2019 supports USB charging for 2S lithium-ion and polymer batteries. If the balance cable of the battery is plugged into the transmitter for powering it, you are all ready to go. Plugging the mini USB cable will charge it and you can use flawlessly.

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If you are using it with the old Taranis X9D plus, then you will need to use a Balance charger for it. You can buy a JST to XT60 connector and charge it with the charger that you use to charge your regular Li-Po’s or Li-ion’s.

 

Conclusion

We have briefly discussed one of the popular but cheap alternative replacement battery for FrSky X9D. Well, it is not branded, but it will do the job. Hope this article has helped some to know about this replacement battery available for Taranis radio. In the next article, we will come up with another candidate. Stay Tuned!

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Some time ago released smallest motorized lens controller suitable to drive advanced lenses. Is drives opto mechanical lens which in combination with USB camera makes lightweight camera Kurokesu C1 PRO X18 with optical zoom of 5.5~95mm. Posibility to change h.264 on board codec parameters makes it suitable for low bandwidth applications.

 

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FrSky 2.4GHz ACCESS ARCHER R4 RECEIVER

7386894065?profile=RESIZE_710xAll of the Archer receivers are hyper-matched with the ACCESS protocol. They not only feature wireless firmware upgrades, increased range, and telemetry performance, the R4 now supports more functions like configurable telemetry power, S.Port/F.Port switching and FLR output. Additional valuable features are under development to unlock the true potential of the ACCESS protocol.

FrSky 2.4GHz ACCESS ARCHER R4 RECEIVER FEATURES:

ACCESS protocol with Over The Air (OTA)

Tiny and lightweight

Supports signal redundancy (SBUS In)

Full control range with telemetry

S.Port / F.Port

External battery / device voltage detection

 

FrSky 2.4GHz ACCESS ARCHER R4 RECEIVER SPECIFICATIONS:

Dimension: 30*17*6.2mm(L*W*H)

Weight: 3.8g

16/24 Configurable SBUS Channels

4 High-precision PWM Channels

Operating Voltage Range: 3.5 -10V

Operating Current: <60mA@5V

Control Range: Full range* with telemetry

(*Full Range: >2km, range may vary based on local conditions.)

Voltage Measurement Range via AIN2 (External device): 0-3.3V

Compatibility: All FrSky ACCESS transmitters

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What is FrSky Receiver PPM Output?

Let us take a look at what PWM & PPM is, along with FrSky Receiver PPM Output in this article. PWM or Pulse Width Modulation has been the de-facto choice for receiver out for decades and for good reason - it was direct, easy and simple to use. But as the need for more channels came necessary, it wasn’t logical to keep adding PWM channels, each taking an extra pin - enter PPM or Pulse Position Modulation which brings in multiple channels into a single pin.

What is an RC signal?

So, how do the servos on your RC plane or the rotors on your drones get the signal to move the rudder or control rod? Obviously from the receivers. So there must be a standard communication “talk” between the receiver and the servos, right? This is called as the RC signal. It is what enables servos or any peripherals such as Flight Controllers to understand what input the receiver is giving them.

What is a PWM signal?

The first generation of receivers used PWM or Pulse Width Modulation signal. So what exactly is a PWM signal?

A Pulse Width Modulation signal is a way of creating analogue signals from a digital source. Analogue signals are sinusoidal in nature while digital is in binary, ie. 0s and 1s. So to generate an analogue signal(continuously changing signal) from a digital source in a PWM signal, we change the frequency and duty cycle of the signal.

The duty cycle is the amount of time that the signal is HIGH (ON) versus the total time it takes to complete the cycle in terms of percentage. Frequency, on the other hand, is how fast one cycle is completed. For example, 100Hz (Hz or Hertz is the unit of frequency) means that the signal completes 100 cycles per second.

By combining duty cycle and frequency rates we can change how long a signal is in the HIGH state and how long the signal is in the LOW state. By varying these two values, you get an analogue signal (not pure analogue though)

So now that we have got that out of the way, let us talk about why PWM was widely used.

As previously mentioned, PWM just consists of two variables that is needed to be changed, which makes PWM signals extremely easy to be created and decoded by simple devices like your servo.

But as time passed by, pilots started to require additional channels for drones and auxiliary devices. Due to the hardware requirement of an additional PWM pin for each channel, it was quite obviously not feasible to have more than 6 to 8ch via separate PWM signal wires. Hence, there was a requirement to condense multiple channels into a single hardware signal wire.

This is where PPM came into play.

What is a PPM Signal & Why use it?

PPM or Pulse Position Modulation is another scheme used to send signals, but this has the added advantage of sending multiple channels/signals via a single PPM signal wire. How? Read on!

In PPM, each channel is lined up back to back on a single signal train (technically this is not how it works, but for simplicity, we will follow this schema). So, channel 1 is followed by channel 2 which is followed by channel 3 and so on. Once the final channel data is also sent (say channel 8), the pulse train goes back to the first channel and gets refreshed with new channel values.

So with this, we have essentially cut all the extra channel wires down to a single wire thus saving space, hardware pins and complexity of wiring.

So what are its downsides?

The issue is that standard servos do not support PPM signals but rather PWM only. This would not be a deal-breaker for the drone fliers out there but for planes and fixed wings, this could be an issue as they might not be using a flight controller which accepts PPM but rather directly connect receiver outputs to servos and ESCs.

Of course, you can get around by using a PPM to PWM converter module which is available quite cheaply.

Where does FrSky stand?

FrSky obviously has a vast number of receivers, each capable of outputting different types of data as PWM, PPM or the newer S.Bus. Few examples of FrSky Receiver PPM outputs are:

X8R

X8R-Pro

X4R

XSR

Among others.

In this article, we have seen what are radio receiver signals, what is PWM & PPM and the differences between the two and how FrSky Receiver PPM Output can help you save a lot of wires on your build and how clean the build is with PPM over PWM.

 

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3D Robotics

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I'm a big fan of the Marvelmind indoor positioning system, which is inexpensive, accurate (2cm) and quite easy to use. They've now put together a tutorial page on how to use it with drones, both PX4 and Ardupilot:

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Marvelmind Indoor "GPS" supports PixHawk with ArduPilot and PX4

 

– Marvelmind and ArduPilot – link to ArduPilot.org

 

– Marvelmind and PX4 Integration Manual – step by step guidance with settings and screenshots for Mission Planner, PixHawk and the HW connectivity

 

– PixHawk and Marvelmind Integration Manual – step by step guide for PixHawk, ArduPilot and Marvelmind integration for drones

 

Build indoor positioning system for quadcopters properly

 

There are quite many, but rather basic aspects that have to be taken into account to successfully fly indoor:

 

– Autonomous copter settings manual – basic and practical recommendations for setting up of Indoor “GPS” system for usage with autonomous copters/drones indoor and outdoor

 

– Placement Manual – practical advises and examples of how to mount the Marvelmind Indoor “GPS” system to achieve the best performance in different applications and configurations

– Check the slides about drones

– Check the slides about Precise Z

 

– Help: Z-coordinates for copters – long explanation – YouTube explanation how to place the stationary beacons properly to get good Z accuracy. If you can’t use the advises, because your environment doesn’t let you, use the Precise Z configuration with 4+2 stationary beacons

 

 

Examples of precise indoor positioning and navigation for drones

 

Precisely (±2cm) tracking DJI Phantom quadcopter indoor in 3D (XYZ)

 
 

– Precise tracking in X,Y,Z (XY view + XZ view + YZ view)

 

– Raw data and post-processed data from Dashboard’s Player – notice, that today the same is available not in the post-processing, but in the Real-Time Player

 

– The DJI eco-system is closed, at least, the Phantom and Mavic series. Thus, it is possible to track the Phantom, but not fly autonomously indoor (without deeper hacking)

 

 

 
 

Precisely (±2cm) tracking DJI Phantom quadcopter outdoor in 3D (XYZ)

 
 

– Precise (±2cm) tracking in XYZ (XY view + XZ view + YZ view) – the same as above, but outdoor

 

– In this demo and in the demo above, the same Precise-Z configuration consisting of 4+2 stationary beacons is used. See more in the Placement Manual

 
 

Fully autonomous flight indoor

 
 

– Small copter is flying fully autonomously relying on Marvelmind Indoor “GPS”

 
 

Indoor tracking small and micro-drones

 
 

It is possible to track even micro-drones (less than 100g) with the help of Mini-TX beacons.

 

Starter Set NIA-SmallDrone is specifically designed for these kind of drones.

 

 

 
 

Recommended Marvelmind configurations for drones

 
 

The minimum configuration for the drone tracking would be any NIA set with 3D capability. For example, 3 stationary beacons + 1 mobile beacon + 1 modem and Non-Inverse Architecture (NIA) or Multi-Frequency NIA (MF NIA) would be already OK for the drone.

 

See the Products page for different starter sets options.


However, just 3 stationary beacons would have little resiliency against obstructions. Any occlusion of any stationary beacon – non-line of sight/hearing situation – will lead to no tracking or erroneous tracking. Very much ike in GPS: “no satellites visibility = no GPS coordinates = no tracking”.

Thus, we recommend, at least, N+1 redundancy for stationary beacons. And that is why our starter sets for 3D consist of 4 stationary beacons.

Even better is to have 2N redundancy with fully overlapping 3D submaps. That would be either 3+3 or 4+4 stationary beacons. The system would automatically choose the best submap for tracking. That kind of system is very resilient and with proper placement of the beacons, you can fly even in complex rooms with columns, for example, without issues with tracking.

 

The key for the great tracking is to provide proper coverage at any flight point, i.e. the mobile beacons on the drone must have 3 or more stationary beacons belonging to the same submap with clear direct line of sight/hearing within 30m.

 

Proper placement is the key usually and particularly important to drones, because they require 3D; the drones are fast; and the mistakes may be particularly costly. What to pay attention to?

 

– The single most important requirement for good tracking or autonomous flight – provide clear line of sight/hearing visibility from the mobile beacons on the drone to 3 or more stationary beacons

 

– Don’t rely on magnetometers indoor. Use the Paired Beacons configuration for Location+Direction

 

– Place stationary beacons so that angles from the mobile beacons to the stationary beacons would be 30 degree or more. See a longer explanation in the video

 

– Use the Precise-Z configurations when not possible to achieve proper angles to the stationary beacons otherwise

 

 

 

 

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