Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Public Safety


Public Safety

UAV Benefits

  • Provide quick response to emergency situations
  • Maintain surveillance from a safe distance
  • Improve efficiencyduring search and rescue or man-hunt missions
  • Identify hot spotsin fires
  • Assist in hazardous materials situations

UAV Challenges

  • Finding public funding for emergency equipment
  • Developing licensing and training opportunities to meet FAA requirements
  • Case law is very new for UAV usage

Examples

Search and rescue or manhunt missions

Flown by Mark Carter, Precision Ag Technology Educator, Purdue Extension

Finding people in an emergency situation can be difficult, especially at night. This picture includes three children that are standing in a corn field which is taller than each of them at night. Thermal image cameras allow first responders to find people in dense vegetation at all times of day.

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Here we can see an entire backyard at night, even when it is very dark. The thermal image is being filtered differently than the first picture. Most thermal cameras have different filters that allow alternate image collection and viewing.

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Police surveillance

Flown by Mark Carter, Precision Ag Technology Educator, Purdue Extension

Drones allow a police officer to operate in a safer environment by observing persons of interest from above and at a safe distance. Some cameras allow officers to observe activity or see a license plate from over a mile away. In these pictures, the person of interest can be observed from a distance without detection.

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Railroad safety

Flown by Ashley Adair, Organic Agriculture Specialist, Purdue Extension

As part of Fred Whitford’s new railroad safety topic, presented at field days and to Purdue Extension partners across the state, a Phantom 4 Pro was flown at full tilt from the whistle signal to a railroad intersection with a busy street (Lindberg Rd x KBS Railroad, West Lafayette, IN). The drone topped out at about 29 mph and flew at about the same height as a locomotive engineer would be riding in the train’s cab. The demonstration helped to show how short the whistle post distance is from the roadway (about a quarter mile) from the perspective of the locomotive engineer.

Building clearing

Flown by Mark Carter, Precision Ag Technology Educator, Purdue Extension

Police officers can use a drone to look for people inside a building in active shooter or hostage situations, keeping officers safe. Some drones have the capability to use a microphone or speaker in the building to communicate with persons of interest. These pictures show an office that was cleared with a DJI Mavic Mini 2.

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Fire hot spots

Flown by Mark Carter, Precision Ag Technology Educator, Purdue Extension

Fire departments and public safety professionals can use a drone with a thermal camera to see hot spots in a fire. By determining hot spots, they can concentrate resources to reduce the temperatures and effectively controlling the fire.

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