Eyeing an upgrade to their Search and Rescue operations, the City of Long Beach, New Jersey, has applied for a grant to secure an unmanned aircraft system, specifically a $15,000 Skydio X2 Thermal drone. Triggered by the community's concerns over a month ago, Ward 6 Alderman Pete McGoey became a vocal advocate for this technological advancement.
The search and rescue drone promises impressive capabilities. It's designed to scan 30 to 60 acres of terrain within 20 minutes and can enter buildings to locate individuals who may be trapped or barricaded. It's also equipped to detect fires, contributing to the city's firefighting efforts.
As neighboring Picayune has already integrated drones into its safety measures, Long Beach is eager to do the same.
McGoey emphasized the timeliness of the move, saying, “Obviously, we both know that hurricane season is upon us. Unfortunately, as I stated in the meeting last night, it's not a matter of if, but it's a matter of when we're going to have to go through some type of recovery mode, and it would be nice to have that one.”
With a price tag of $15,000, the city anticipates having the drone within the next 60 to 90 days, provided the grant application proves successful. This initiative underscores Long Beach's commitment to leveraging technology to boost public safety and disaster recovery efforts with the Skydio X2 Thermal Drone.
The Skydio X2 Thermal features a 4K60P HDR color camera with a 16x digital zoom lens with ~46° HFOV, suited for situational awareness with longer standoff distances, and a FLIR® Boson 320 x 256 infrared camera with 8x digital zoom.
Alternatives to the Skydio X2 Thermal drone
Both the DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise Thermal ($5,498 at BandH) and the Autel Robotics EVO II Dual 640T V3 ($5,999 at BandH) offer double the thermal resolution, which makes them far more efficient and capable as Search and Rescue drones.
These two Chinese-made drones are also significantly less expensive and offer more better cameras, general features, better transmission range, and longer flight times. This means that towns like Long Beach could have bought two DJI or Autel drones for the same amount or could have saved a lot of money…
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