St. Mary's County in Maryland will be hosting the First Responders Drone Symposium, providing an opportunity for first responders to learn how unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) technology can be used in emergency operations.
The symposium, including presentations and live demos of drones for fire and rescue services and police operations, will include a simulated police raid and controlled burn of a vacant building.
Local businesses supporting the event include Aviation Systems Engineering Co. (ASEC), which will lead the drone demonstration, and Smartronix Inc., which is providing integrated radio, data and video communications capability. ASEC recently received a commercial exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct UAS technical demonstrations and training. According to the exemption grant, the company is authorized to fly the DJI Inspire T600 and DJI Phantom.
According to St. Mary’s County government, the county is well positioned to participate in the emerging drone market, as the University of Maryland UAS test site is located at the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport (as part of the FAA-designated test site at Virginia Tech).
The county also anticipates that a University of Maryland research facility will be constructed on the campus of the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, which will create the state’s first and only campus for research and development and test and evaluation for unmanned systems.
The symposium will be held Tuesday, Aug. 4 at the CAPT Walker F. Duke Elementary School in Leonardtown.