Fire, police drones caught between saving lives, guarding rights

Photo: Mason Trinca, Special To The Chronicle
Kevin White of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District retrieves the drone during a search-and-rescue training at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park.Battalion Chief Jeff Kleven stood onshore peering through the predawn darkness. He couldn’t see if anyone was inside a car partially submerged in the middle of Alameda Creek’s storm-swollen waters.

Instead of sending a rescue team into the debris-filled current, Kleven deployed the Fremont Fire Department’s newest life-saving tool — a drone equipped with a night-sight camera. Continue reading

Compromise reached between ag, drone operations at Pendleton airport

The Pendleton Airport Commission has agreed to a short-term plan that will keep the northernmost agricultural pad open for crop dusters.

A RQ-7B Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle lands at the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport in May 2014 after a short inaugural flight in Pendleton.


The northernmost agricultural pad at the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport is open for business.

Members of the Pendleton Airport Commission held a special meeting Monday to resolve safety concerns between the pad and nearby drone operations. The city recently purchased two 40-foot shipping containers that will act as a blast wall to protect sensitive equipment. The containers are expected to arrive at the airport by Wednesday. Continue reading

UK police to use 24-hour drone unit to investigate crimes and search for missing people

‘There may be an opportunity at some point in the future to rationalise what we need our cops to do because we find drones can do it more effectively’


The force is currently looking to recruit a ‘drone team manager’ AFP/Getty

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Martek Marine to play major role in EMSA drone project

Drones used for EMSA project will be compact and maneuverable

Drones used for EMSA project will be compact and maneuverable

Rotherham, U.K., headquartered Martek Marine is to play a key role in one of the world’s maritime drone projects. The company has been awarded a two year contract for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Services from the European Marine Safety Agency (EMSA) that will see it supply drones (Remotely Piloted Aircraft), pilots, long-range antennae, mission control vehicles and ground crew as part of a EUR 67 million EMSA strategy of improving coastguard monitoring and surveillance of maritime activity. Continue reading

Singaporean Air Force’s Heron 1 UAV Combat Ready

Singaporean Air Force’s Heron 1 UAV Combat Ready

The Republic of Singapore Air Forces’ (RSAF) Heron 1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has achieved Full Operational Capability (FOC) status and will replace Searcher-class UAV.

“The FOC of Heron 1 brings the RSAF’s unmanned aerial capabilities to the level of advanced militaries globally…The Heron 1 is among the most advanced UAV systems in its class, able to perform several missions simultaneously as with a suite of state-of-the-art sensors and enhanced range… Apart from these conventional operations, it can also be deployed against terrorist threats, because its persistence enables it to cover a wide area of surveillance,” Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen said Wednesday.

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