An Unmanned System in firefighting is a potent utility to firefighters who are routinely exposed to dangerous conditions in order to save lives and property.
ACTIVEROBOTICX Unmanned Systems are being developed to support firefighters in the full range of fire events including fires involving structures, vehicles, aircrafts, ships, and forests.
In addition to the range of fire scenarios, the functionality included in the Unmanned Systems may vary to support firefighters in tasks such as evaluating the fire, identifying trapped people, locating the fire, monitoring conditions, controlling fire spread, and suppression of the fire.
There are two general types of Unmanned System for firefighting: fixed systems and mobile systems. Fixed Unmanned Systems, such as automated fire monitors, can be applied where there is a significant fire hazard and the fire needs to be extinguished rapidly. Such Unmanned Systems could have UV and/or IR sensors to assist with fire localisation and mapping to accurately target suppression agents onto a fire. Mobile
systems will have more advanced features to aid the operator in navigation and perform a broader range of tasks.
Outdoor ground-based mobile Unmanned Systems are platforms with onboard suppression systems that are remotely controlled by an operator. Typically, this type of Unmanned System can be powered by batteries or a diesel engine. Mounted suppression systems can include water-based fire monitors, foam nozzles, nozzles on articulating arms for more range of motion, or a water fog system. In addition to the remote-control operation, these systems use a wireless connection to transmit information from sensors onboard the Unmanned System to the operator for assisting in navigation and fire suppression. Sensors can include visual cameras, IR cameras, gas concentration sensors, and rangefinders to assist in avoiding obstacles.