Hot stuff…….or hot air?
UASs in fire and emergency management
Richard Alder AFSM
National Aerial Firefighting Centre
(UAVs...
Background (I)
• Fire and emergency sector in Australasia:
– 35 agencies (emergency service practitioners)
– 13 affiliates...
Background (II)
… not feasible, or economic (or sensible!) for each
state to have available all the aerial resources requi...
Background (III)
National Aerial Firefighting Centre
• Formed in 2003
• NAFC is a cooperative arrangement between State/Te...
Background (IV)
National Aerial Firefighting Centre
• NAFC currently arranges a fleet of about 90 specialised
firefighting...
They’re here……..
(just in case you didn’t notice!)
• Multiple uses of UAS’s on incidents already
– Fire/emergency services...
Considerations around UASs in F&ES
operations
• Is the operation safe?
• Is it legal?
• Is it better than what we already ...
Safety (I)
(of the UAV operation)
• Risks to personnel on the ground
Safety (II)
(of the UAV operation)
• Risks to other aerial operations
Legality
(of the UAV operation)
• Aviation legislation and regulations
– CASRs (including but not limited to Part 101)
– A...
Effectiveness
Is it better than what we already have?
Considering:
• Harsh environmental conditions during bushfires
– Smo...
Are UAS’s more efficient?
• “Small” UAS’s potentially are now, at a tactical
level (if readily available to or within Fire...
The niche…….(I)
• Dirty, [dull], dangerous, demanding
• Where human factors increase risk
• Repetition
• Persistence
• Nig...
• ISR
– Where the UAS will do the job more effectively
and more efficiently, and is safer, than alternatives
• Tactical, l...
The niche…….(III)
Specific Applications
The niche…….(IV)
• Communications
– Repeaters, black spots, mesh nodes
• “Package” delivery
• Environmental monitoring
• M...
nitrofirex.com
Barriers and additional considerations
• Identifying the niche(s)
• Risk mitigation and planning
• Regulatory
• Airspace m...
Solutions….
• Risk mitigation and planning
• De-confliction
– procedural
– technology
(including traffic awareness technol...
Guidance/Education material
• To brigades / staff / volunteers
• To private operators (may include model aircraft)
• To me...
Guidelines
• UAVs are just another type of aircraft.
• Existing procedures are largely applicable - use as
a basis for UAV...
Guidelines
• Communications & visibility requirements
• ‘no hazard’ principle
• Approval to operate process
• Request to s...
• adding value or just adding data?
• a capability looking for a role?
Hot air……
Hot stuff?
…….or
CASA Limitations
• People operating unapproved ‘drones’ on bush fire grounds have been
warned they are putting fire fighti...
Richard Alder, General Manager, National Aerial Firefighting Centre - Hot Stuff or Hot Air?  Application of UAV technology...
Richard Alder, General Manager, National Aerial Firefighting Centre - Hot Stuff or Hot Air?  Application of UAV technology...
Richard Alder, General Manager, National Aerial Firefighting Centre - Hot Stuff or Hot Air?  Application of UAV technology...
Richard Alder, General Manager, National Aerial Firefighting Centre - Hot Stuff or Hot Air?  Application of UAV technology...
Richard Alder, General Manager, National Aerial Firefighting Centre - Hot Stuff or Hot Air?  Application of UAV technology...
Richard Alder, General Manager, National Aerial Firefighting Centre - Hot Stuff or Hot Air?  Application of UAV technology...
Richard Alder, General Manager, National Aerial Firefighting Centre - Hot Stuff or Hot Air?  Application of UAV technology...
Richard Alder, General Manager, National Aerial Firefighting Centre - Hot Stuff or Hot Air?  Application of UAV technology...
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Richard Alder, General Manager, National Aerial Firefighting Centre - Hot Stuff or Hot Air? Application of UAV technology in the Australian firefighting and natural hazards sector

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Richard Alder, General Manager, National Aerial Firefighting Centre delivered the presentation at the 2014 UAV Triple Zero Summit.

The 2014 UAV Triple Zero Summit had a theme and focus on ‘Mobilising and Regulating UAVs in Australian Emergency Response’. It drew on government policy, current legislation and privacy protocol in establishing an informed analysis of the current and future scope surrounding the utilization of unmanned systems in this sector.

For more information about the event, please visit: http://www.informa.com.au/uavtriplezero14

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Richard Alder, General Manager, National Aerial Firefighting Centre - Hot Stuff or Hot Air? Application of UAV technology in the Australian firefighting and natural hazards sector

  1. 1. Hot stuff…….or hot air? UASs in fire and emergency management Richard Alder AFSM National Aerial Firefighting Centre (UAVs,RPVs, RPASs, drones……..)
  2. 2. Background (I) • Fire and emergency sector in Australasia: – 35 agencies (emergency service practitioners) – 13 affiliates – $4 billion annual expenditure – 37,000 full time workers – 6,000 part time – 257,000 volunteers
  3. 3. Background (II) … not feasible, or economic (or sensible!) for each state to have available all the aerial resources required to deal with every situation …..
  4. 4. Background (III) National Aerial Firefighting Centre • Formed in 2003 • NAFC is a cooperative arrangement between State/Territory governments, and supports firefighters through: – a fleet of shared firefighting aircraft – co-ordinating sharing of aircraft between States – developing nation-wide standardisation and support systems
  5. 5. Background (IV) National Aerial Firefighting Centre • NAFC currently arranges a fleet of about 90 specialised firefighting aircraft (as contracted “services”) – Aircraft may be moved around Australia according to bushfire risk – State & Territory governments and the Australian Government provide funding – Aircraft available for other emergencies www.nafc.org.au
  6. 6. They’re here…….. (just in case you didn’t notice!) • Multiple uses of UAS’s on incidents already – Fire/emergency services (includes OC holders) – Media – Hobbyists – Well meaning ‘helpers’ – Brigades – Commercial organisations – Military • Various trials and demonstrations 10
  7. 7. Considerations around UASs in F&ES operations • Is the operation safe? • Is it legal? • Is it better than what we already have? (or fills a niche that’s not filled and actually needs filling?) • Is it more efficient?
  8. 8. Safety (I) (of the UAV operation) • Risks to personnel on the ground
  9. 9. Safety (II) (of the UAV operation) • Risks to other aerial operations
  10. 10. Legality (of the UAV operation) • Aviation legislation and regulations – CASRs (including but not limited to Part 101) – Airspace • Privacy/Security – Fire and emergency service personnel are already required to maintain privacy and are given ‘trusted’ exposure during vehicle accidents, house fires... ….but always the potential for misuse of information gathered ….and always the potential for “hacking” • Surveillance device legislation • Occupational health and safety legislation • “Local” requirements…..
  11. 11. Effectiveness Is it better than what we already have? Considering: • Harsh environmental conditions during bushfires – Smoke – High winds – Potentially unable to retrieve device • Professional operators and their availability • Reliability • Coordinated operations in a busy airspace • Generally not a shortage of (crewed) observation aircraft
  12. 12. Are UAS’s more efficient? • “Small” UAS’s potentially are now, at a tactical level (if readily available to or within Fire and Emergency Services.) • Capabilities are not always what is required….. • But it depends on the niche to be filled…….
  13. 13. The niche…….(I) • Dirty, [dull], dangerous, demanding • Where human factors increase risk • Repetition • Persistence • Night ops • Flying in cloud/smoke under LSALT • Specialist sensors/imagers
  14. 14. • ISR – Where the UAS will do the job more effectively and more efficiently, and is safer, than alternatives • Tactical, local situational awareness • Persistence, repetition, fill-in gaps • Cloud • At night • Rapid damage assessment – Specialist tasks/specific applications The niche…….(II)
  15. 15. The niche…….(III) Specific Applications
  16. 16. The niche…….(IV) • Communications – Repeaters, black spots, mesh nodes • “Package” delivery • Environmental monitoring • Meteorological data • Fire-lighting • Firebombing
  17. 17. nitrofirex.com
  18. 18. Barriers and additional considerations • Identifying the niche(s) • Risk mitigation and planning • Regulatory • Airspace management and de-confliction • Cost • Complexity • Performance • Proliferation
  19. 19. Solutions…. • Risk mitigation and planning • De-confliction – procedural – technology (including traffic awareness technology) • Consistent guidance material • Education material • Cohesive longer-term strategy?
  20. 20. Guidance/Education material • To brigades / staff / volunteers • To private operators (may include model aircraft) • To media • To commercial UAS operators • To fire fighting aircraft operators • To ourselves (fire & emergency agencies) 27
  21. 21. Guidelines • UAVs are just another type of aircraft. • Existing procedures are largely applicable - use as a basis for UAV operating guidelines. • Like any other aircraft UAVs must be: – Safe – create no additional risk or hazard – Effective – add value to the fire operation – Efficient – offer good value for money – Legal – comply with CASRs and other laws including OHS • Aim to be consistent across Australia 28
  22. 22. Guidelines • Communications & visibility requirements • ‘no hazard’ principle • Approval to operate process • Request to stay clear process (for UASs not directly involved) • Reporting procedures (CASA, police, fire/emergency agency) 29
  23. 23. • adding value or just adding data? • a capability looking for a role? Hot air…… Hot stuff? …….or
  24. 24. CASA Limitations • People operating unapproved ‘drones’ on bush fire grounds have been warned they are putting fire fighting responses at risk. • CASA has seen video footage of a remotely piloted aircraft being operated on the NSW Lithgow fire ground this week. • This operation was not approved and appears to be in breach of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. • Flying a remotely piloted aircraft in the same airspace as fire fighting helicopters and aeroplanes creates a real risk of a mid-air collision. • If a remotely piloted aircraft hit a fire fighting helicopter tail rotor the helicopter could be badly damaged, with possible loss of control by the pilot. • The collision risk means if unapproved remotely piloted aircraft operate on a fire ground fire fighting authorities may be forced to ground their aircraft, putting lives and property at risk. • CASA's Director of Aviation Safety, John McCormick, says the unapproved use of remotely piloted aircraft during a bush fire was irresponsible. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EAp_NhbF68
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