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Drone Industry Capabilities: Search and Rescue

Posted by Conor Ferguson on Sep 22, 2021 9:00:00 AM
Conor Ferguson

The Specialty

First responders use drones for a variety of applications. Police departments frequently use drones to provide quick and close attention at hostile crime scenes while maintaining a safe distance, for mapping car wrecks and crime scenes, and for search and rescue operations. Emergency response professionals and departments also use drones during search and rescue operations. Fire departments use drones frequently to find hotspots on roofs to assist them in determining where to vent and extinguish fires.

The Market

In the past (and in locations that do not yet have adequate drone fleets), searching by foot or using helicopters were used for search and rescue. For crime situations, fires, missing persons, etc, manual investigation was the only other option. 


All of these predecessors to drones were costly - both in financial investment, time,  and especially in lives. Drones have empowered first responders to get better results, more quickly, and with less cost and casualties or injuries. 


While there are many drones on the market that claim to assist first responders, very few have the correct specs and solutions needed to provide consistently superior results while maximizing departments’ return on investment. 


We’ve heard from many first responders who struggled with drones that promised high quality images, only to fall short of the minimumrequirement of a 12 megapixel sensor and limited zoom capabilities. Either the drones on the market did not meet these minimum requirements (and they are truly a base minimum), or the drones were too small to carry the proper camera and lenses needed to capture the proper-quality images. These drones suffer from poor performance and are often poorly built, resulting in a shorter lifespan -- in other words, a poor experience all around, even if it technically “meets the specs” required. With the Wispr drone you don’t have to worry about this, as we go above and beyond to make sure our drone outperforms others on a consistent basis when it counts.


Since first responders are working 24/7/365, it’s critical that their drones be able to work as well in nighttime or other inclement weather and conditions as they do during a clear, sunny day. Until Wispr; however, the market did not provide drones with a collision avoidance sensor that works in those conditions. 


Similarly, many drones on the market have low-performance thermal sensors, which are unable to deliver results so desperately needed in search and rescue operations. Or, the drones simply cannot handle the equipment needed to capture the necessary images. 

The Solution

With small and large details built specifically for first responders, Wispr drones excel in the most critical areas such as:>

Collision avoidance

Specific to the collision avoidance challenge noted above, our lidar-based collision avoidance system empowers WISPr drones to work in daytime, nighttime and other conditions. We know that emergencies happen at any time, so we built our drones to deliver what first responders need, when they need them. 

Nighttime performance

It is very important for drones to offer performance whenever first responders get the call. Wispr drones offer the FLIR Duo Pro R, which includes a 12 megapixel color camera and a 640 resolution thermal with a 30 hz frame rate and a 32-degree field of view. This also comes with a 7x zoom using the thermal camera. WISPr understands what first responders need, and we are proud to partner with first responders across the country. 

Image quality

It is not enough to check a box and say that a drone delivers certain specs. Many drones that may check some boxes deliver subpar quality and poor lifespan. Still many others simply can’t meet those minimum required specs.


WISPr drones provide a 40x optical zoom and 32x hybrid zoom cameras (nearly double the minimum requirement for adequate first responder performance) and a 20.4 megapixel sensor to give you the best view possible when the right view is essential to save lives and prevent incredible damage. 


Our drones don’t just meet the specs, though -- they are built specifically to carry this load. In fact, Wispr drones can carry this high-performance camera and get a 30-minute flight time while doing so. 


We are also very proud to share that all of our drones are manufactured in the USA! 


How could a Wispr drone help your search and rescue and other missions?

There simply isn’t another commercial drone on the market that is built to handle the precarious and critical situations of first responders. At Wispr, we designed and built our drones to handle the rigorous day-to-day needs of first responders. We are proud to partner with first responders across the country, and we’d be honored to provide our commercial drones to assist you.


To learn more about WISPr drones for first responders, contact our team today

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