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Mon, Jul 09, 2018

Solar-Powered Drones To Assist In NM Wildfire Efforts

Will Provide Information To Firefighters On The Ground Battling Blazes

The state of New Mexico plans to use solar-powered drones during the summer wildfire season to assist ground-based firefighters in their efforts.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the aircraft are built by Albuquerque-based Silent Falcon USA Technologies and deployed for the first time the U.S. Department of the Interior under a contract for air support during wildfires in all 50 states. The long-endurance drones equipped with infrared cameras and other sensors will replace small helicopter drones currently employed by the agency.

Use of the drones was facilitated the FAA's 2016 authorization for limited drone use in the NAS.

Silent Falcon CEO John Brown said that fighting wildfires is only one mission the company's aircraft will be flying this year. Later this summer Silen Falcon drones will begin conducting aerial inspections of some 2.600 wells for a oil company.

(Image via Twitter from Silent Falcon)

FMI: Original report

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