Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade CyberQuad Trial
The Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) are about to commence a 12 month operational trial using Cyberquad UAVs. Previously employed by the MFB for training scenarios, the CyberQuad remote-controlled aircraft will now be available to respond to incidents as part of this pilot program.
Two CyberQuad Maxi UAVs are currently owned by the Melbourne MFB, which are equipped with cameras that enable incidents to be remotely monitored from above. The CyberQuads are able to transmit real time images to the incident controller via portable monitors and screens within the MFB control unit.
This capability has the potential to greatly enhance the incident controllers ability to make timely, effective tactical decisions and allow management teams to monitor the positions of their crews and resources. Each CyberQuad has a different payload, with the first mounting a high definition camera capable of stills and video, and the second combining a standard definition and thermal imaging camera.
Commander Will Glen presented at the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) conference recently. “Currently, MFB’s only capacity to undertake aerial monitoring and intelligence gathering during an incident is via ladder platforms, which have a lower level observation height and do not have cameras, thermal imaging or plume analysis capability”, he said. “If the trial is successful, UAVs could improve our ability to rapidly gather a more complete overview of an emergency situation with their rapid deployment, manoeuvrability and ability to provide real-time imagery to the incident management system”.
The MFB UAV program commenced on August 23rd and will continue for 12 months.