Defense Tech first spotted the 8-foot long, sausage-shaped Silver Fox drone back in early 2003, right before it was headed off to Iraq.Now, it looks like five of the robo-planes, equipped with thermal cameras, will be headed to New Orleans, to hunt for Katrina survivors.
Five Silver Fox "unmanned aerial vehicles," or UAVs, equipped with thermal imaging technology to detect the body heat of storm survivors, are en route to the crippled city, Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Curt Weldon said.Mr. Weldon told reporters in Baton Rouge that he had bypassed government bureaucracy to obtain the drones from a private company to be used in search and rescue operations in New Orleans, scene of one of the worst natural disasters in US history."With thermal imaging capability ... you can actually see into the buildings and see the body image of a person still alive," Mr Weldon, vice chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, said."It could help assess whether there are people trapped alive in attics or upper floors," he said. "Once you've got them pinpointed you can send rescue teams in."(Big ups: JQP)THERE'S MORE: Over at Winds of Change, Murdoc has a terrific round-up of the Navy's response to Katrina.AND MORE: A few weeks back, we mentioned the giant sonic blasters being tested by the L.A. Sherriff's Department. Some of the screechers are about to be shipped to the Gulf Coast, "so authorities can use the tools for crowd control, aid distribution and rescue operations," Xeni reports in Wired News.