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A new situational awareness system presents original features for firefighters.The Situational Awareness System by Pierce Manufacturing is a self-piloting, actively-tethered aerial device that can be deployed from any apparatus currently in use, providing fire departments an immediate integration without the need for additional technology.

The company provides firefighters aerial and thermal imagery for detailed information about a fire, and can be hard-wired into the vehicle system, eliminating the need for a piloting license or certificate of authorization, as well as concerns about battery life, according to firechief.com.  

The system live streams and documents mission-critical aerial views of the scene with total operational freedom.

According to Pierce’s website, with fully autonomous flight, this system does not take away valuable team resources to pilot during an operation and can be taught to any member of a team within a day of training. 

The system is controlled wirelessly inside/outside the truck via a tablet or a PC. A single button-push rapidly deploys the unit while a backup battery and controlled descent features protect the system from ground power interruptions. The video stream can be leveraged for thermal surveillance, live transmission to in-transit responders, scene documentation, and critical training.

The system is based on Fotokite Live Software. There is a one-button height control and swipe-to-center camera view control. The system supplies 24 hours of video and flight log storage capacity.