August 18, 2019

Drone Demo Set in St. Mary’s

Unmanned air systems
Posted for Community First

See live demonstrations of drone use for fire and rescue services and police operation Aug. 4, 2015, at the Capt. Walter F. Duke Elementary School in Leonardtown, MD.

The First Responders Drone Symposium, hosted by St. Mary’s County government and public schools,  is an opportunity to show how first responders may be able to include drones in their life-saving work.

First responders are learning how unmanned systems technology can be used in emergency operations. The drone demo will include  a simulated police raid and a controlled burn of a vacant building. The controlled burn will be managed by the St. Mary’s County Fire Chief with assistance from the Leonardtown and Hollywood Volunteer Fire Departments.

The public may see smoke rising from the site of the drone demo. As a result of the demonstration, school registration at the Duke Elementary School will not be available that day.

Local businesses  supporting the event  include Aviation Systems Engineering Company (ASEC), leading the drone demonstration effort; and Smartronix, Inc., providing integrated radio, data, and video communications capability. Both companies, headquartered in St. Mary’s County, will provide technical assistance for the drone demonstrations and presentations on the use of this advanced technology by First Responders.

Dramatic growth is expected for unmanned system technology. Services will likely improve commerce, enhance public safety, and create new opportunities for research and testing. According to Business Insider’s 2015 drone market report, $15 billion will be spent on commercial applications, including unmanned systems research and development, software and hardware.

St. Mary’s County is well positioned to participate in this emerging market sector which promises new business development and local job growth. A University of Maryland Unmanned Aircraft System Test Site is located at the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport; and in several years, the county anticipates that a University System of Maryland research facility will be constructed on the campus of the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center in California, Maryland. This will create the state’s first and only campus for research and development and test and evaluation for unmanned systems, making St. Mary’s County a leader in the unmanned and autonomous systems’ industry nationwide.

For more information regarding the First Responders Drone Symposium, contact Robin Finnacom, Deputy Director, St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development, at 301-475-4200, ext. 1407 or via email at robin.finnacom@stmarysmd.com.

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