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Looking for App suggestions, Fire Dept & Search and Rescue

gschentag

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Hi There,

I do tech work for my local volunteer Fire Dept (FD) and Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

Both the FD and EOC would like to use drones to save lives. The FD has paid to train 3 of us as pilots.
The training company now wants a stupid amount of money for further training on the tools available to help us. We don't have the $15-25k they want, so I am seeking advice on what apps might be best for us.

For the Fire Dept, we want to be able to quickly deploy a Mavic to circle an incident to provide additional details. Every incident would be different, but critical details like the back of the house has a large semi-hidden propane tank near the blaze, could be helpful.

Our EOC also supports our search and rescue folks, they would like to be able to send out a Mavic to search a specific grid pattern while someone watched on a large monitor. (I'm also looking into a FLIR camera for this)

As well, any thoughts on a super small video sending drone that I could fly into a burning structure to look for victims, knowing full well it will may come not out or burn up?
We just need to fly it from 50-100' or so away, and see what it sees.

Speed of deployment is key for the Fire Dept.

As I have just started down this path, any thoughts would be appreciated

Best regards,

Glenn
 

MadValley

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Since cost is an object and time is (maybe) not, most of what you need to do can be found here: Becoming a Pilot
You just need the knowledge which can be freely obtained and then pass the test and all the while be practicing.

My take on the Mavic is that it would be a great training device but to deploy in an environmentally complex place might be asking a bit much. They're good but not particularly rugged. I would think that for site work you'd be better served by something like a Matrice where a flying ember can take out a prop and you can still fly it back. But the Mavic still would be good for practice and as a backup.

As far as your tiny drone idea. Well, all of these things are made out of plastic and tiny plastic and fire don't go very well together (as you undoubtedly know). Plus the heated air movement would make the drone even more unstable than typical for a tiny drone. It's kind of guaranteed to be lost. That being said I bet you could find a drone manufacturer that could see a market in such products and could build something that would be ruggedized and give you a few minutes of flight time before dying. I'm picturing something like a Spark with a titanium shell and heat-reflecting stand-offs. There's all sorts of megaR-value insulation material out there.
 
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Lapeer20m

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Our department has a drone program. We currently utilize a mavic with plans to add a Matrice to the fleet.

Mavic is perfect for flying around structure fires and performing other daytime operations.

For Flir, the only viable option is a matrice 210 with the zenmuse xt 640

You can put a zenmuse xt on an inspire 1 but only get half the flight time and no ability to have a second "normal" camera which is pretty critical for identifying objects.

Thermal imagine with 320 is simply aweful and not worth the money or effort.

I forget the name of the dji app that allows you to preplan missions. You just draw a square on the map with your finger and mavic flys. A grid over the area.

Goggles are a must for search and rescue. A visual observer is also a must if using goggles. Head tracking with goggles is absolutely fantastic when performing search and rescue over an area.

Also, a tactical viewing station that mirrors the iPad screen into a computer monitor or tv is super handy for the incident commander.
 

Lapeer20m

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Also, if cell service is good or you have access to wifi, livevstreaming to YouTube is a viable option for the eoc to view the footage....but it's a bit of a pain setting it up and distributing the links.
 

Mossiback

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$15-25k for training? The Mavic and software is so easy to fly and learn that it would be interesting to know what is included in the price.

Whatever you end up with, especially if it a DJI product, make sure to lock down the dedicated display device so it will not install updates.
 

jag32266

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Hi Glenn,

Fleet = two birds, Matice 210, Mavic
Apps = DJIGo4, Drone Harmony, perhaps Litchi

In addressing your issues you have options and one would be a small fleet (above) but with the Mavic FLIR isn't one of them, not for SAR. As mentioned, the Matrice 210 would handle that and be one bird in your fleet.

In quickly deploying at a fire the DJIgo4 app (comes with the Mavic) could fill that function. Fast setup/fly and circle using the Mavic to see the layout as the crew gets the fire equipment readied on site. It doesn't have to get too close (heat) to see the details you mention.Mavic has such quick setup abilities you could have a survey done by the time your crew was ready to fight the fire

The app Drone Harmony (DH) using the Top-Down mode is going to be ideal for your SAR. DH is currently in beta and can be used now for free. I've emailed the company and they are aware of the possible use for SAR. It has the grid pattern you speak of as well as automatically taking a video/picture every XX secs./minutes. Between that and creating the flight pattern I believe it will have your SAR needs covered.

I think the Mavic is good for this as well using the DH app. When I helped my community with a missing person SAR I had a deputy with me and an ATV. My kit I had a laptop, extra SD cards and I would go fly a pattern at his suggestion. I'd bring the bird back (pre-Mavic) sticking the SD card into the laptop. He would play back the coverage while I was off flying another route. Rinse and repeat. This worked well until we had our assigned area completed. The deputy was impressed with how quickly we got the job done.

Flying INTO the fire I don't believe that tech is here yet but I wouldn't be surprised if the military already has that. A robot might be a better solution (bomb disposal type) and that would still need the same requirements of your pilots- bingo.

As a resource use youtube for some info; SAR, Mavic and how rugged it is. On Facebook I'm a member of SWARM, an world-wide SAR group which might have additional info for you. And there are others

HTH.
 

jag32266

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Lapeer,.. seems to be an excellent product but won't work in this Mavic environment.

>>
Compatible Products
GS Pro is compatible with the following DJI aerial platforms and flight controllers: Phantom 3 Standard/4K/Advanced/Professional, Phantom 4/Pro/Advanced, Inspire 1/Inspire 2Matrice 100/600/600 Pro/200, A3, N3 Compatible cameras: Phantom 3 Standard/4K/Advanced/Professional, Phantom 4/Pro, and Zenmuse X3, X5, X5R, X4S, X5S, Z3, Z30, and XT.
>>
 

Lapeer20m

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I've flown with Gs pro....cannot remember if it was with mavic or a different platform.

I'll test this tomorrow.

A quick Google search says Gs pro is compatible with mavic.
 

jag32266

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Oh. I got the text lifted from the web page itself so it'd be great if it was. What was the cost? Never mind. Reread and saw it was iOS only and I'm not going back to that.
 

Lapeer20m

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Just flew a misson with Gs pro and mavic. Can confirm they are compatible. It's only 7*F and thanks to Gs pro I could keep my gloves on.

I need to play with Gs pro and explore all of its features. It's a pretty sweet app.

Oh. I got the text lifted from the web page itself inso it'd be great if it was. What was the cost? Never mind. Reread and saw it was iOS only and I'm not going back to that.
missin
 

marklyn

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I'm curious about something as it relates to this topic. Can a FD or PD obtain some type of exclusion for NFZ's? If they needed to put up a drone in a hurry in a NFZ do they have a quick way around that so they can get the video data they need quickly?
 

Lapeer20m

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I'm curious about something as it relates to this topic. Can a FD or PD obtain some type of exclusion for NFZ's? If they needed to put up a drone in a hurry in a NFZ do they have a quick way around that so they can get the video data they need quickly?
i think the official answer is that any part 107 pilot has to go through the FAA online portal to get clearance to fly in controlled airspace. In practice, I know some departments simply call the ATC directly for clearance.

Government entities can choose to fly under a COA which does not necessarily include any of the restrictions that part 107 has......but this comes with it's own set of rules and hoops to jump through.
 

marklyn

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i think the official answer is that any part 107 pilot has to go through the FAA online portal to get clearance to fly in controlled airspace. In practice, I know some departments simply call the ATC directly for clearance.

Government entities can choose to fly under a COA which does not necessarily include any of the restrictions that part 107 has......but this comes with it's own set of rules and hoops to jump through.
OK. I was just curious. I happened to be in a red NFZ (and didn't realize it; small airport) and my Mavic wouldn't even consider taking off.
 

Lapeer20m

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OK. I was just curious. I happened to be in a red NFZ (and didn't realize it; small airport) and my Mavic wouldn't even consider taking off.
That is super frustrating, especially when the aircraft is in class G airspace and it is permissible to fly. At small untowered airports, controlled airspace generally starts at 700' agl.
 

gschentag

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Hi Glenn,

Fleet = two birds, Matice 210, Mavic
Apps = DJIGo4, Drone Harmony, perhaps Litchi

In addressing your issues you have options and one would be a small fleet (above) but with the Mavic FLIR isn't one of them, not for SAR. As mentioned, the Matrice 210 would handle that and be one bird in your fleet.

In quickly deploying at a fire the DJIgo4 app (comes with the Mavic) could fill that function. Fast setup/fly and circle using the Mavic to see the layout as the crew gets the fire equipment readied on site. It doesn't have to get too close (heat) to see the details you mention.Mavic has such quick setup abilities you could have a survey done by the time your crew was ready to fight the fire

The app Drone Harmony (DH) using the Top-Down mode is going to be ideal for your SAR. DH is currently in beta and can be used now for free. I've emailed the company and they are aware of the possible use for SAR. It has the grid pattern you speak of as well as automatically taking a video/picture every XX secs./minutes. Between that and creating the flight pattern I believe it will have your SAR needs covered.

I think the Mavic is good for this as well using the DH app. When I helped my community with a missing person SAR I had a deputy with me and an ATV. My kit I had a laptop, extra SD cards and I would go fly a pattern at his suggestion. I'd bring the bird back (pre-Mavic) sticking the SD card into the laptop. He would play back the coverage while I was off flying another route. Rinse and repeat. This worked well until we had our assigned area completed. The deputy was impressed with how quickly we got the job done.

Flying INTO the fire I don't believe that tech is here yet but I wouldn't be surprised if the military already has that. A robot might be a better solution (bomb disposal type) and that would still need the same requirements of your pilots- bingo.

As a resource use youtube for some info; SAR, Mavic and how rugged it is. On Facebook I'm a member of SWARM, an world-wide SAR group which might have additional info for you. And there are others

HTH.
Thanks so much everyone for the comments/ advice.
I was off line for a few weeks there and had only seen the first message before signed off.
Thanks so much, I'll be reviewing options with our fire chief shortly.

Best regards,

Glenn
 

diveinstructor

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Hi Glenn,

Fleet = two birds, Matice 210, Mavic
Apps = DJIGo4, Drone Harmony, perhaps Litchi

In addressing your issues you have options and one would be a small fleet (above) but with the Mavic FLIR isn't one of them, not for SAR. As mentioned, the Matrice 210 would handle that and be one bird in your fleet.

In quickly deploying at a fire the DJIgo4 app (comes with the Mavic) could fill that function. Fast setup/fly and circle using the Mavic to see the layout as the crew gets the fire equipment readied on site. It doesn't have to get too close (heat) to see the details you mention.Mavic has such quick setup abilities you could have a survey done by the time your crew was ready to fight the fire

The app Drone Harmony (DH) using the Top-Down mode is going to be ideal for your SAR. DH is currently in beta and can be used now for free. I've emailed the company and they are aware of the possible use for SAR. It has the grid pattern you speak of as well as automatically taking a video/picture every XX secs./minutes. Between that and creating the flight pattern I believe it will have your SAR needs covered.

I think the Mavic is good for this as well using the DH app. When I helped my community with a missing person SAR I had a deputy with me and an ATV. My kit I had a laptop, extra SD cards and I would go fly a pattern at his suggestion. I'd bring the bird back (pre-Mavic) sticking the SD card into the laptop. He would play back the coverage while I was off flying another route. Rinse and repeat. This worked well until we had our assigned area completed. The deputy was impressed with how quickly we got the job done.

Flying INTO the fire I don't believe that tech is here yet but I wouldn't be surprised if the military already has that. A robot might be a better solution (bomb disposal type) and that would still need the same requirements of your pilots- bingo.

As a resource use youtube for some info; SAR, Mavic and how rugged it is. On Facebook I'm a member of SWARM, an world-wide SAR group which might have additional info for you. And there are others

HTH.
where can Drone Harmony be found??? Im looking for it on the Apple app site but cant seem to find it.
 

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