As part of the pre-show activities at DJI Airworks this week, we got to see FLIR‘s new MUVE™ C360 in action – and it’s awesome.
The MUVE C360 is like nothing we’ve seen before on a drone. With this product, FLIR is moving beyond thermal cameras for drones and providing the fire and emergency services sector with another valuable tool: a multi-gas detector. It’s a small payload and a long probe attached to an enterprise drone which also carries a camera for maintaining situational awareness.
In a demonstration at the LAFD’s Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center, LAFD Firefighter/Paramedic and Lead Remote Pilot David Danielson explains why the new product is important. “Fire departments aren’t just about fighting fires,” says Danielson, pointing out that the department may be called out to deal with a wide range of gas related incidents. Danielson describes the process that firefighters must currently go through to deal with a suspected gas leak: they get into a fully encapsulated suit equipped with air tank and enter the contaminated area carrying a hand held sensor in order to get information on what type of gas may be involved.
Chris Bainter, of FLIR systems, says the suit itself is a significant burden for personnel: “It’s heavy, it’s hot, and you only have a short amount of time before you have to get out of the suit.” With a drone equipped with the MUVE C360, firefighters can determine what type of gas is involved in an incident from a safe distance: and then engage armed with the right equipment and a more accurate understanding of what they’re dealing with – all while maintaining 360 degree situational awareness.
FLIR’s vision is “to save lives and livelihoods,” says Bainter, and the MUVE C360 is an exciting step in that direction. In the drone industry, FLIR is known for thermal payloads: however, “41% of our business comes from non-thermal equipment,” says Bainter. “We’re safeguarding people and property, and we’re building products rugged enough to go into the same environments that our first responders go into.”
With the MUVE C360, first responders can assess the scene from a safer distance, significantly reduce the time to action, and maintain 360 situational awareness, Bainter explains: and the drone “can be first in and last out” of an incident.
In demonstration, Danielson showed how the drone equipped with the MUVE C360 flies close to an incident – in this case, a car with gas coming out of the trunk – and gives incident commanders not only a detailed view of the car and surroundings but also quickly deliver readings on the nature of the gas, while pilot, commander and other personnel remain out of range of the fumes. “This is a wonderful benefit for us,” says Danielson.
The following is a FLIR press release.
ARLINGTON, Va., September 24, 2019 ― FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) today announced the FLIR MUVE™ C360, the industry’s first multi-gas detector specifically built for unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
The MUVE C360 will transform how emergency response teams approach chemical, industrial, or environmental incidents by providing a new level of safety, dramatically reducing time to action, and delivering a more complete assessment in situations where every second counts. The C360 is currently compatible with the DJI Matrice 210 UAS platform.
Before putting the health and safety of response teams at risk, drone pilots will be able to fly the new MUVE C360 into a scene for initial assessment. The C360 houses a photoionization detector, plus a suite of advanced electrochemical sensors that provide real-time continuous monitoring of chemical hazards such as chlorine, carbon monoxide, and other combustible gases. This capability will enable emergency response teams to assess situations remotely and select the proper personal protective equipment. Fire crews will be able to monitor air quality surrounding active scenes before entry, and industrial experts can perform inspections in hard-to-reach areas with relative ease.
The MUVE C360 will allow operators to understand the flow of hazardous vapors both at the source and in the air. It bypasses difficult terrain and enables response teams to quickly draw a perimeter and map known hazards, while preset alarm thresholds help scene commanders or security operators make quick decisions.
“First responders are constantly seeking better and safer ways to do their jobs, and from the moment the FLIR MUVE C360 arrives in the market, the chemical and gas monitoring process will change forever,” said Jeff Frank, senior vice president at FLIR. “In the time it normally takes first responders to don proper equipment, the C360 has already arrived on scene, tested samples, and located the source of a hazard.
“With greater accessibility to drone technology than ever before, the purpose-built MUVE C360 will provide response teams with improved situational awareness that can help save lives and
livelihoods,” Frank added.
FLIR is also introducing FLIR VueLinkTM, a pilot flight application that provides drone operators a plug-and-play interface to the MUVE C360. The app also includes advanced flight-control and interface with the FLIR Cloud.
The MUVE C360 and VueLink will be available in the fourth quarter of 2019. To learn more, visitwww.flir.com/C360.