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Abu Dhabi: Drones with thermal imaging, 'light missiles' to help fight tower fires

'These drones have been made by using the most advanced technologies'


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Tue 22 Feb 2022, 2:23 PM

Last updated: Tue 22 Feb 2022, 10:41 PM

The Abu Dhabi Civil Defence is all set to launch two hi-tech innovative drones to douse fire in high-rise buildings of up to 800 metres height.

Two sophisticated unmanned aircrafts: one with thermal imaging and payload, and another with light missiles to clear any obstructions at the incident site, are expected to join service later this year.

“These drones have been made by using the most advanced technologies. They have successfully completed the trial phase and await regulatory approvals. It should be added to our service later this year,” First Warrant Officer Mouza Khalifa told Khaleej Times during the fifth edition of the Unmanned Systems Exhibition (Umex) and the Simulation and Training Exhibition (SimTEX).

She noted the drones use thermal imaging, sensors and hi-definition cameras and can go up to the height of 800m.

“They have sensors. There’s thermal imaging to detect the hot spots and cameras to take photos. This will assist the team on the ground and in the operations room to deal with the situation with utmost efficiency and speed. It covers a radius of 9 cubic metres and carries 15 gallons of foam or powder to put out the fire. It can be up in the air for up to 50 minutes. There is a substitute battery in case it runs low on power. It can return, recharge and then fly back to duty.”

The UAVs have been provided by China-based Walkera Technology. The second drone features cameras and light missiles to first detect and then destroy any blockages.

“The second drone we have is the one with twin missiles in it. This will be used in cases where we find any blockage at the site of fire. This drone will be deployed. It will be up in the air to the height of 800 metres, the camera will help to detect the spot and light missiles will be fired to clear any form of obstructions.

The drone is also attached with a hose, which will enable it to douse the fire,” she said and underlined the drones will support the firefighters’ efforts in putting out the blaze and saving lives.

These drones are in addition to the TAF35 firefighting robot, which was added to the force in 2020. The robot – a turbine mounted on a caterpillar vehicle and operated by remote control – is primarily used for firefighting but has been also deployed during the national sterlisation campaign to disinfect vast areas.

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