Event 38 Unmanned Systems recently completed a project with a UAS service provider to develop and field an aircraft for wildfire response. The aircraft carries an EO/IR gimbal tied in to a geotagging system that provides real time fire location data to firefighters. It is currently flying missions on behalf of the Department of the Interior.
While this company had previously worked with UAS for ISR and mapping, none of their aircraft were suited for wildfire response. The work calls for long endurance flights at high density altitude within a TFR, and usually without space available for traditional launch and recovery equipment. The drone engineered in collaboration with Event 38 features electric vertical takeoff and landing and a gasoline engine for forward thrust. These are crucial for flying in mountainous regions and over forests, allowing for long flights and requiring minimal space for takeoff and landing.
Event 38 integrated the avionics, including the autopilot, and developed custom flight software and ground control station functions. The team was also responsible for flight-testing the drone from first flight to final testing with DOI.
With up to 9 hours endurance, a ceiling above 12,000’ MSL and an all-up weight over 65 pounds, this project demonstrates Event 38’s ability to develop and deploy high performance UAS for flight in mixed manned/unmanned airspace.