Members of the Insitu Rapid Response team recently completed a demonstration showing how the ScanEagle unmanned aircraft can help during wildfires.
The demonstration took place above the Paradise Fire in Washington’s Olympic National Park, according to a news release. The ScanEagle flew six operations and delivered more than 37 hours of real-time, infrared video to incident command personnel.
Insitu’s suite of motion imagery video and geo-registration capability enabled officials to pinpoint the fire’s perimeter and identify areas of intense heat, according to the release. The drone also helped helicopter assets evaluate water drop locations.
“This and other planned unmanned aircraft systems demonstrations will serve to guide our policies, procedures and requirements for the safe, phased integration of UAS in support of wildfire management,” said Mark Bathrick, Director, Department of the Interior, Office of Aviation Services, according to the release. “These demonstrations are part of a larger interagency strategy aimed at employing UAS to provide firefighters on the ground with time-sensitive information that will give them the highest level of situational awareness and support possible.”
The ScanEagle operated with an emergency certificate of authorization issued from the FAA to the Department of Interior, according to the release. The ECOA allowed operation within the confines of the temporary flight restriction.
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