The trial, conducted at Millbrook Proving Ground, helps develop a greater understanding of how 5G connectivity can be used to aid emergency services at trauma scenes, and remote or difficult to reach locations. Click here to see the two minute video of the trial and drone in action.
The tethered Fotokite Sigma system was successfully tested to receive 5G network connectivity from its base station on the ground, to transfer real-time data to first responders at the location and local hospital teams via a smart tablet. Its ultra-reliable low latency, uninterrupted aerial monitoring, and quick set up time of 2 minutes (approximately 13 minutes faster than any traditional drones) ensures no time is lost in conducting situational analysis of a scene, potentially saving lives.
Chris McCall, CEO at Fotokite said: “Safety-critical data sharing in public safety applications can make real impact when information is distributed quickly and reliably. Incident commanders and decision makers have new capabilities when it comes to 5G-enabled technologies like the Fotokite Sigma, and we are excited to work with Virgin Media O2 in a joint mission to help those public safety teams save lives and stay safe.”
Available in three separate configurations, including a rooftop box, transport case and tray mount, the Fotokite can operate reliably in the harshest of conditions, day or night, whilst remaining elevated for as long as the mission requires. The technology is activated with just one button to launch and the same to land – straightforward to operate and can be flown with an A2 Certificate of Competence passed online, making it accessible to many in the UK.
Martin Hunt, Medical Rescue Coordinator for the British Automobile Racing Club & 5G Technology Programme Manager at Virgin Media O2, said: “The use of drones for emergency responders is an increasingly valuable tool, as the rising number of applications and lower flying complexity make it quick and easy to manage. The Fotokite drone has both thermal imaging and RGB video camera capabilities, as well as the ability to fly for extended times in all weather conditions, providing crucial situational information and data for emergency teams. Being able to stream live feeds via a 5G network from the operational ‘hot zone’ of a major incident back to offsite strategic teams enables instant feedback and decision-making that could save lives.