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Draganflyer X6 Helicopter Used in CCUVS Advanced Police UAV Training

Aerial photo taken by the Draganflyer X6 of a CCUVS training group, including Draganflyer X6 pilot and camera operator.

The Draganflyer X6 UAV Helicopter is the focus of the Canadian Centre for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (CCUVS) training currently underway in Medicine Hat. Police officers from Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta will receive academic training in Canadian air law and regulations, aerodynamics, meteorology, and communications, as well as hands-on flight training with the Draganflyer X6. From the Medicine Hat News:

CCUVS Advancing Police Training

Medicine Hat News (April 23, 2009) —
Collecting evidence at crime scenes will get easier for select police forces as officers from across the country are participating in specialty training in Medicine Hat this week.

Seven police officers from Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta forces spent the week learning how to operate the Draganflyer X6, and unmanned helicopter capable of taking digital photos and videos with one of four different cameras. Created by Draganfly Innovations Inc., the device is operated wirelessly by remote control. A second remote is used to control the camera and collect images.

The product is already sold worldwide and used in industries such as real estate and film.

Const. Marc Sharpe of the Ontario Provincial police flew small aircrafts as a hobby but realized there was a use in his profession because aerial photographs of collisions or other crimes are usually collected through catering an airplane at quite an expense. In 2007, Sharpe gained approval from Transport Canada to use his own miniature aircraft for these investigations under strict regulations.

Eventually the aircraft could be used as for first response information gathering in a situation where officers could be entering unsafe territory. Because of privacy issues and regulations, it cannot be used for surveillance or search and rescue efforts.

The Canadian Center for Unmanned Vehicle Systems (CCUVS), a Medicine Hat-based organization which aims to encourage the profitable growth of the unmanned vehicle industry in the country, helped develop the training course over the last six months.

Sterling Cripps, vice-president, marketing and program development for the CCUVS, says the training will help the officers understand aviation and airspace. It’s the first time an independent organization has put together a course to these standards.

“The important thing was getting the first one out of the way, getting it under our belt.” Said Cripps. “Seeing what we’ve been able to achieve here, what the results are going to be, we’re in good shape for developing it.”

He hopes to offer two more courses before the end of the year and another six in 2010.

by Tenille Tellman

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