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Vector P UAV demonstrates live fire monitoring


June 12, 2006

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June 13, 2006 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) will find their way into many peacetime roles over the coming decade, and the role of monitoring forest fires is almost certain to be one of them. Last week a group of 70 government observers gathered to observe and assess the capabilities of UAVs in a live fire monitoring application at the USDA Forest Service/NASA UAV Demo at Fort Hunter Liggett Army Garrison in California. The UAV designated to strut its stuff was an IntelliTech Vector P and the results were excellent. Carrying both standard and thermal infrared video cameras, the Vector P autonomously sought out fires set at locations five miles from the airport and transmitted the video back to the crowd of observers. In all, the Vector P successfully completed four day and night missions over controlled fires set at distant locations on the grounds of the 165,000 acre garrison.

The Vector P system is a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) UAV targeted at applications requiring high performance at low cost and is capable of carrying a wide variety of payloads for up to 6 hours. The Vector P has broad applications, including border patrol, search and rescue, environmental monitoring, and precision agriculture, among many others.

The fires were set by the Garrison Fire Department as part of a program to minimize the risk of runaway wildfires.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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