Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/01/27/mfb_rc_camera_uav/

RC flyer to watch over fires

'Can I have a turn please, Captain?'

By Richard Chirgwin

Posted in Science, 27th January 2011 21:49 GMT

Melbourne’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade is to deploy an Australian-developed “eye in the sky” remotely-controlled aerial camera from WA-based developer Cyber Technology.

Two four-fan CyberQuad UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) will be used to hover above fires to identify hotspots and send realtime vision to a control centre. One will be fitted with a high-definition camera, while the other will carry a standard definition camera and a thermal imaging camera.

Pilots in the MFB are now being trained, with deployment expected over the next few months.

The small, self-contained CyberQuads only have between 25 and 35 minutes’ flight capability, but they can be deployed quickly and the 500-800g payload (depending on version) is sufficient for cameras and transmitters.

The vehicles have previously been used for inspecting an oil rig fire in the Timor Sea in 2009. ®