Think HBR

Innovative technology used to help emergency management

The continuing advances in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and associated sensor technologies has produced a broad spectrum of useful tools for civilian applications. To take advantage of this technology and diversify its market, PLEXSYS Interface Products Inc, a defence contractor, created a product to meet the needs of civilian Emergency Management, Search & Rescue (SAR) as well as First Responders and Wildfire Fighters.
PLEXSYS Australia has a local office at Williamtown.
PLEXSYS leveraged decades of experience with Command & Control (C2) displays to create OnScene Commander (OSC). OSC merges data from a variety of sources for display on a Common Operating Picture (COP), which provides a graphical representation of beacon equipped ground crews and UAVs in real time, on an easy to read map display.
For the past three years, OSC has been employed by West Point Military Academy to ensure cadet safety during training competitions and cadet annual summer field training. During these events, OSC has tracked over 400 cadets simultaneously in extremely mountainous terrain. Army leadership relies upon OSC for monitoring participants and provides the information necessary to make decisions in the best interest of safety and mission accomplishment.
Emergency Management and Law Enforcement agencies have used OSC’s Video Distribution And Recording System (VDARS) to enhance SAR and suspect surveillance operations. In July, 2016 OSC VDARS was used to search for a skydiving accident victim. The victim fell out of her parachute harness upon chute deployment at five thousand feet. On day one of the search, only the parachute was located. Prior to the commencement of searching on day two, a UAV team located the victim’s body during a review of the previous days VDARS recordings. The body was situated in dense grass over 6 feet high, making it virtually undetectable to ground crews or manned aircraft. Only the UAV flying at an altitude of 300 feet was able to locate the victim during post mission analysis.
OSC provided reconnaissance of a murder suspect. In December 2016 law enforcement officials used a UAV equipped with an IR sensor to verify that a suspect was unarmed and alone prior to apprehension. Video from the UAV was relayed in real time to agents in the field, giving them a birds-eye view of the situation prior to and during the arrest. The OSC VDARS video record was archived for legal purposes and will be admissible as evidence.