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Firefighting warning system for UAS

27th July 2016 - 15:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


A new prototype warning system has been developed to prevent UAV pilots from interfering with firefighting operations, the US Department of the Interior announced on 25 July.

The system provides real-time alerts and geofencing alarms to prevent drone pilots from interfering with firefighting operations.

Developed by the Department of the Interior, DJI, AirMap and Skyward, the system relays wildfire information obtained directly from the Interior’s Integrated Reporting Wildland-Fire Information programme to UAS pilots through AirMap's iOS and web apps, AirMap's API, and the GEO geofencing system included in the DJI GO flight control app.

Incidents of UAS interfering with aircraft carrying out wildfire operations are increasing, causing delays to fire suppression operations, the grounding of aircraft, and pilots needing to take evasive action to avoid collisions with UAS.

The Interior is working with the FAA and US Forest Service to enhance public awareness of the issue, establish notification protocols, and enforce penalties when violations occur.   

Similar to efforts that map UAS-sensitive locations such as prisons and nuclear power plants, UAS manufacturers will have the ability to automatically ‘geo-fence’ wildfire areas from entrance by the UAS they build and sell.  

Experience and data obtained from this year’s prototype will be used to inform a full public and industry release planned for the 2017 fire season. In the future, the system will have the capability to prevent drones from operating in restricted airspace once they reach a geofence perimeter.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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