In 2023, fire drones have become an indispensable part of fire fighting and rescue work. Fire-fighting drones can play the role of initial detection and initial rescue, especially drones with high-resolution thermal imaging and visual cameras, which can make quick and informed decisions in response to changing emergency situations.
Here are 2023 reviews of the five best firefighting drones for hazard assessment and reconnaissance at disaster sites.
DJI Matrice 300 RTK
As one of the high-end commercial drones, Matrice 300 RTK can be used in various applications, including fire rescue. The thermal imager Zenmuse H20T mounted on the Matrice 300 RTK has a size of 640×512 px, and a 20 MP zoom camera, a 12 MP wide-angle camera, and a 1200 m LRF are mixed in the camera gimbal.
In addition, the drone has a battery life of 40 minutes, a maximum speed of 50km/h, and a waterproof design, allowing it to fly in various harsh conditions.
Yuneec H520 is a drone specially designed for emergency rescue missions, with a flying speed of up to 45 mph and the ability to run for 30 minutes, the machine has reliable waterproof and dustproof performance, and can operate in severe weather and environmental conditions to run.
The Yuneec H520 has the highest flexibility in adding cameras and payloads, from a SONY 1” CMS sensor camera to a FLIR 640×512 Boson thermal imaging and multispectral camera, with multiple replaceable payloads securing this firefighting drone.
Autel Evo II Dual 640T
Autel Evo II Dual 640T is a fire rescue drone with dual thermal imaging and visible light cameras. The advantages of the machine include up to 38 minutes of battery life, a flight range of 9km, and an 8K camera.
The resolution of the thermal imaging camera of the drone can reach 640*512, and it can be manipulated by using the Autel Explorer App. It has a built-in thermal image analysis tool Autel IRPC Tool, multiple temperature measurement modes, and 10 thermal color palettes.
Autel 640T also has Autel 640t v2 version and Autel 640t v3 version, the latter has a major upgrade in image system and image transmission distance.
Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced
Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced is a fire rescue drone that can fly autonomously. It is equipped with a high-resolution 640*512 thermal imager, supports up to 32 times digital zoom, and can achieve centimeter-level positioning accuracy with the RTK module. The drone has omnidirectional obstacle sensing, and the image transmission distance can reach 10km.
Autel EVO MAX 4T
Autel EVO MAX 4T is a visual thermal imaging drone suitable for missions such as fire detection, border security and search and rescue. The machine features high-precision sensors and multiple operating modes to function in a variety of applications.
Autel EVO MAX 4T is an autonomous commercial drone launched by Autel Robotics this year. The camera gimbal integrates a wide-angle camera, a telephoto camera, a laser rangefinder and 640*512 thermal imaging, and has a leading A-Mesh network technology, IP43 protection level, and the image transmission distance can be as long as 20 kilometers.
FAQ of Firefighting Drones
Q: Which drones are firefighters using?
A: Firefighters use a wide variety of drones, including those with thermal imaging, visible light, and multispectral cameras, drones that can fly for longer periods of time, drones that can fly autonomously, and more. Drones used by firefighters need to be waterproof and dustproof, and be able to work in harsh weather and environmental conditions.
Q: Which drone is best for emergency services?
A: For emergency services, drones need to be fast-responsive, high-precision, and versatile. Drones with a variety of cameras, sensors, and modes of operation can meet different application needs. Some UAV drones with autonomous flight functions can respond quickly in emergency situations, while drones with long flight time can provide real-time image and data support for a longer period of time.
Q: Are fire departments using drones for firefighting and rescue?
A: Yes, fire departments are increasingly using drones for firefighting and rescue operations. Drones can provide real-time images and data support to help firefighters better understand the fire situation and source, and improve fire fighting efficiency and safety. Additionally, drones can provide useful information during search and rescue missions.
Q: What is the price of the firefighting drone?
A: The price of firefighting drones varies with different models and configurations. The lowest price is several thousand dollars, and the highest price may reach tens of thousands of dollars. Fire departments can choose suitable drones according to their budget and actual needs. At the same time, due to the continuous advancement of drone technology, the price of fire-fighting drones may drop in the future.