Drones / UAVs

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mark y
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Drones / UAVs

Postby mark y » Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:56 pm

We are hearing a lot about drones/UAVs coming into use with various fire departments, and a bit in police. Anyone use them in your work and if so, do you mind sharing what you use and what the typical application is? Keep in mind this part of the forum is open to the world...

We are trying to develop a working knowledge of how drones are used in public safety (police, fire, etc) and what is needed to make them useful in those agencies. Any thoughts or comments you have are appreciated.

Thanks.

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Re: Drones / UAVs

Postby th » Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:49 pm

There a couple of SAR groups around here that are using them, they a few different configurations, equipped with IR cameras and such. Really handy for getting into tight spaces for searches, can get a close look at rescue victims, assessing for injuries and that sort of thing.
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Re: Drones / UAVs

Postby gotchya » Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:34 am

There is also one municipal emergency management office in Ontario who working to obtain/has them.

I know that there is some red-tape surrounding them, I believe you need a permit.

I've heard that they can be useful at large events particularly, for things such as lost children.
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Re: Drones / UAVs

Postby mack_silent » Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:57 am

The 1080p camera quad copters are fairly cheap. They don't have a great range (most are about 200' vertical limit, not sure on workable radio distance).
My main concern with using them for public safety is malfunctions, radio loss or crashes causing them to fall onto people or property.
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Re: Drones / UAVs

Postby Dave Brown » Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:16 pm

I think drones are very useful in a variety of situations. But one of the problems is that so many people think they can get away with flying them and not obtaining the special flight operations certificate (SFOC) from Transport Canada. Unless it is strictly recreation or below a certain weight limit, users MUST obtain a special flight operations certificate, fly them within eyesight at all times and not exceed a certain altitude.

There are too many people who ignore regulations and think they can get away with it, by pretending it is just a hobby. Real estate agents, news gatherers, filmmakers, wedding photographers ... ALL these people are operating commercially and are risking charges by operating without the proper certificate.

I feel there is about to be a HUGE backlash against drone operators, and we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. While radio-control quad- and multi-rotor- copters are not really "drones" in the strict sense, camera drones will soon be about as popular as rich lion-hunters.

I have been flying radio-control helicopters for years (and I am a licenced pilot.) I wouldn't even TOUCH a camera-equipped drone right now. And it is about to get much worse. Irresponsible operators have caused the average citizen to hate drones with an intensity I have never witnessed before, and a lot of people are just waiting for someone to get seriously hurt.

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Re: Drones / UAVs

Postby mark y » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:25 pm

Thanks guys - good info.

Dave - I met with a friend of mine who is a licensed commercial pilot (flies a Dessault Falcon) and now owns a good-sized online pilot training 'school'. He has a large number of corporate and business clients, including RCMP pilots. It's mostly designed for pilots who have to re-certify on certain aspects of their job every year or three - rather than going to a class somewhere, they can do it online.

His opinion is that it's the "wild west" (his words) right now, and expects much tighter restrictions in the near future.

If anyone is interested, drone res are here; http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/s ... -4179.html .

My friend said that it's not overly complex to get your drone license, but there are specific rules to be followed.

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Re: Drones / UAVs

Postby IndictableChaser » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:35 am

mark y wrote:We are hearing a lot about drones/UAVs coming into use with various fire departments, and a bit in police. Anyone use them in your work and if so, do you mind sharing what you use and what the typical application is? Keep in mind this part of the forum is open to the world...

We are trying to develop a working knowledge of how drones are used in public safety (police, fire, etc) and what is needed to make them useful in those agencies. Any thoughts or comments you have are appreciated.

Thanks.


Never used one, but I did see a drone low to the ground by YYZ for a few seconds before GTAA and Peel Police destroyed it. Imagine if it hit a plane or got sucked into an engine 88)
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Re: Drones / UAVs

Postby Respond Wayne » Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:36 pm

Some Drones have firmware that won't allow them to take off when they are close to Airports... Some...
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Re: Drones / UAVs

Postby gotchya » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:39 pm

IndictableChaser wrote:Never used one, but I did see a drone low to the ground by YYZ for a few seconds before GTAA and Peel Police destroyed it. Imagine if it hit a plane or got sucked into an engine 88)


How did they "catch" it?
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Re: Drones / UAVs

Postby CrispyBacon » Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:09 pm

This is an interesting topic.

They're cheap and available all over now. I'm not concerned with the law enforcement/official use of drones, but what about the criminal/privacy aspect?

As a crude example, I always leave my bedroom blinds open because there's no house behind me, just a field. What if someone with a drone starts peeking in the windows? What if they record something and then post it on social media, or use it to blackmail me, etc.... Sure, they would likely face repercussions, but with social media these days, it's easy to ruin someone's life with a short video clip.

So, the law enforcement aspect of this topic isn't just cops using drones, it also needs to look into how to enforce drone use by the public. Maybe tighter regulations? Special tools to disable drones remotely? You can't just go around shooting them out of the sky, especially over a crowd of people...

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Re: Drones / UAVs

Postby Dave Brown » Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:47 pm

One of the reasons why I suggest there is going to be more and more repercussions on drone operators and the media feeding frenzy has only just started, is a basic misunderstanding of what a "drone" is and what it can do.

For one thing, a radio-control multi-rotor helicopter that has the capability to mount a camera is not a "drone." A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle operated from a great distance. These hobby "drones" are actually UAVs, or unmanned aerial vehicles that are operated from line-of-sight.

In fact, it would be dangerous, irresponsible and illegal to operate a UAV outside of line-of-sight.

Secondly, the camera that can be mounted on any 'hobby' UAV would not have the capability to zoom in during flight. They are necessarily extremely wide angles. This is done for several reasons. For one, the camera is also sometimes the eyes of the pilot when it becomes a first-person viewer, and the angle must be VERY wide. Secondly, there is so much bouncing and vibration that even the world's best camera mount could not deliver usable footage if the lens was zoomed in even to about "normal" fields-of-view. (Approximately 50mm focal length in 35mm camera equivalency.) This means that, unless you are talking multi-thousands of dollars for a commercial UAV and camera, they might be able to discern your window but anything in full view behind that window would be tinier than the ants inhabiting the Derek Zoolander Center for Children Who Can't Read Good model.

I don't worry about the prevalence of these hobby drones. The trend will dry out soon as they crash more and more and people get tired of the expensive maintenance and replacing parts. I worry about the illegal commercial use of UAVs. Every single person who uses them in a wedding, real estate video, film set, newscast or to make youtube videos, is using them commercially, not recreationally. This means that all these people are using them illegally unless they have an exception or a special operating certificate from Transport Canada.

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Re: Drones / UAVs

Postby Regular Guy » Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:58 am

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Last edited by Regular Guy on Sat Mar 19, 2016 5:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Drones / UAVs

Postby mark y » Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:03 pm


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Re: Drones / UAVs

Postby mark y » Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:15 pm

CrispyBacon wrote:This is an interesting topic.

They're cheap and available all over now. I'm not concerned with the law enforcement/official use of drones, but what about the criminal/privacy aspect?

As a crude example, I always leave my bedroom blinds open because there's no house behind me, just a field. What if someone with a drone starts peeking in the windows? What if they record something and then post it on social media, or use it to blackmail me, etc.... Sure, they would likely face repercussions, but with social media these days, it's easy to ruin someone's life with a short video clip.

So, the law enforcement aspect of this topic isn't just cops using drones, it also needs to look into how to enforce drone use by the public. Maybe tighter regulations? Special tools to disable drones remotely? You can't just go around shooting them out of the sky, especially over a crowd of people...


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Re: Drones / UAVs

Postby Depot Web » Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:57 am

Regular Guy: "F" Division was one of the first in the RCMP to use UAVs in a policing role. Two and a half years ago they used one to locate a missing person who had been injured in a rollover. The person was disoriented and wandered into the woods. A cell phone ping gave them an approximate location and the FLIR camera spotted the subject and guided the search team.

The news release includes the UAV footage of the rescue.

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/sk/news-nouve ... ue-eng.htm
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatche ... -1.1398942
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