A THERMAL imaging company in Emsworth is supplying emergency services across the country with drones fitted with specialist cameras.
iRed launched its ‘search and rescue’ packages after a decade of research into aerial thermography and has supplied six police forces already, with fire brigades and the coastguard also keen.
The kit enables immediate searches to be made and for large areas to be swept from above for heat signatures.
The ‘thermo-drones’ are able to scan large areas and detect heat and shape, enabling search parties to be directed to the correct location.
As well as a thermal imaging camera the package includes a sophisticated optical camera with enough zoom to read a number plate from a mile away.
Ray Faulkner, managing director of iRed, said: ‘This use of thermography is literally a life saver.
‘With the proper training, a drone pilot can quickly search a wide area for a missing person or, indeed, animal. As long as the data is correctly interpreted then these searches can be over in minutes.
‘It is a cost-effective solution for the emergency services and the feedback we have had has been excellent.
‘Previously, police forces have had to scramble helicopters, but now the cost and time has been drastically reduced.
‘Technology can make a huge difference by providing a better solution at a fraction of the price.’