Drone as First Responder (DFR) operations is an innovative and transformative use of UAS developed and implemented by the Chula Vista Police Department and CAPE, a private UAS teleoperation company. The Chula Vista Police Department has been deploying drones from the rooftop of the Police Department Headquarters to 911 calls and other reports of emergency incidents such as crimes in progress, fires, traffic accidents, and reports of dangerous subjects. Drones has become an important part of the operations since It provides the ability to see what is going on at an incident before emergency personnel arrive on scene. In addition to the overhead perspective that traditional air support has always provided, Drone as a First Responder (DRF) allows a trained incident commander to “virtually” arrive on scene first, sometimes minutes before officers are in harm’s way. Drone's communication to its operator is currently through radio frequency signals. Due to its nature, the connection is prone to any interference such as Wi-Fi and similar signals. If drone loses connection due to the signal strength, drone returns to the base which translates into an incomplete mission.
City of Chula Vista seeks a solution to stabilize the drone's connection to its operator to complete all missions thus taking Drone as a First Responder program to a scalable level. The solution would utilize multiple connection types such as cellular, Wi-Fi etc. to avoid interruptions. If radio frequency is not available, drone should have the ability to switch to cellular or Wi-Fi connection to keep the connection stable. Achieving this outcome expected to provide an increase;
- Situational awareness and protection for Police Officers
- Response times
- Quality of data transmitted
- Extended range in operations
Also reduction in;
- Incoming requests to be addressed/incomplete missions by successful drone operation as a First Responder.