2016 WFSTAR: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS or drones)
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2016 WFSTAR: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS or drones)

August 21, 2019

(helicopter flying) (dramatic orchestral music) This series
of tests examine the ability of UAS to be employed from within a TFR, in the intelligence, surveillance
and reconnaissance role, while being safely flown
beyond visual line of sight. The fire produced thick smoke,
making it ideal for examining the potential of the infrared
sensor on the UAS to detect hotspots and map their location. Small UAS and manned aircraft can operate safely together over
a managed fire and aid beyond visual line of
sight mode within a TFR. The purpose was to examine the capability of the optionally piloted
helicopter for performing cargo and water dropping
missions in represented western wildfire terrain and conditions. Overall the demonstration
and scenario based flights exceeded expectations. The helicopter configured in
the unmanned operating mode formed well in mountainous
terrain, and was able to deliver cargo and water with the
same or better precision as it was capable of in
the manned configuration. The onboard EO camera and
IR sensor were very useful and not only provided situational
awareness to the operator but for assessing the outcome
impacts of the water drops. (dramatic orchestral music) (helicopter propellers)

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