This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

Having a powerful light on a UAV can serve several purposes in enhancing the unmanned aerial vehicle’s efficiency at nighttime. Draganfly Innovations has recently signed an agreement with SureFire LLC to integrate and test their LED technology as a complete system with Draganfly’s UAVs. Combining Draganfly’s drone technology with SureFire’s optical lighting platform will provide night time operational solutions.

According to Draganfly’s press release, it will assist in preparing SureFire’s dual-beam optically enhanced 2000 Lumen unit for commercial release by integrating the system onto the Draganfly Commander. Draganfly is incorporating the lights on their ASM (active stabilized mount) gimballed camera mount. One of the advantages of Draganfly’s ASM design is that there is space to fly multiple accessories. Various flight testing exercises have been conducted by placing SureFire’s LED unit adjacent to a high-quality Sony camera. It has been successfully used in search and rescue exercises and for general night time videography.

Currently, key industry players tend to use infrared sensors at night for various missions. However, infrared sensors aren’t so reliable in providing information that can be rapidly communicated to the field, a critical trait in a search and rescue or pursuit of a subject. Now with SureFire’s LEDs, lighting the night sky presents the data to the pilot in a manner they are accustomed to during daytime operations.

Having a powerful light on a UAV also allows for better situational awareness by targeting the subject that has been discovered with the light during an operation. Furthermore, during search missions, responders can move to where the light from the drone above is pointing to locate subjects quickly and benefit from the illumination of that area.

“We’re pleased to partner with Draganfly in demonstrating the value of applying our patented MaxVision optics in UAV applications that benefit Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, and the public they serve”, said Alex Soo, Vice President of Engineering at SureFire.