Drone networks that allow seamless communication among devices, first responders and dispatch centers enhance public safety operations.
Drones add the situational awareness that boosts the effectiveness of public safety response.
Agencies should consider a drone system that supports the flow of data and communications so that responders can integrate what’s happening on the ground with off-site decision-makers, said David Merrick, a coordinator of unmanned aircraft systems for Florida’s State Emergency Response Team.
“A camera in the sky is one of the simplest things that drones can do, but it’s also one of the most effective because [it] lets someone who’s 10 miles away see what’s happening and … start making decisions about what is needed,” Merrick said.
While cell phones and radios are common ways to maintain communications, public safety teams are venturing into mesh networks that can provide connectivity in isolated areas, he said. These self-contained networks consist of a group of connectivity devices, which Merrick likened to Wi-Fi routers. The network may be “slower than you’d like,” he said, but it still allows responders to preserve communications and share video or imagery.
Soaring to new heights, together.
Be sure to visit the BWU Technology Partnerships Initiative website to learn more about how our NEOFIX program drives economic growth, promotes policy and infrastructure to improve drone safety and efficiency in various industries, and ensures that drone technology is being used responsibly.