Rajant and AlarmTransfer show UAS can reduce the time it takes for authorities to respond to a verified home alarm



If alarm companies use UAS to supplement their current infrastructure, the amount of time it takes for authorities to respond to a verified home alarm can be significantly lowered, according to a Malvern, Pennsylvania company called Rajant, which provides private wireless networks, and Norman, Oklahoma’s AlarmTransfer.

The national average time it takes for authorities to respond to a verified home alarm is seven minutes. Through their tests using UAS, Rajant and AlarmTransfer showed a home alarm company can get aerial surveillance on the scene as quickly as 30 seconds.

The tests, dubbed the “Launch on Alert” tests and conducted throughout the neighborhoods where AlarmTransfer’s cameras are stationed, used the xCraft’s x2i Hybrid VTOL UAS, which runs on Rajant’s InstaMesh networking technology. The UAS is capable of flying for 45 minutes at speeds up to 60 mph.

“If an alarm is triggered, you want to get eyes on the scene as fast as you can and find out what’s going on,” says Don Gilbreath, vice president, systems, for Rajant.

“This UAS system can cut response time down to a few minutes or even seconds, which increases the safety of communities and decreases police department overhead by reducing false calls for service.”

The UAS live in “nests” that serve as autonomous recharging units, and are conveniently located “within a certain geographic radius of a business or residential customer.”

When a customer’s alarm or alert is triggered, information on the event is sent to a UAS nest, which provides the UAS with relevant data on what's going on. The UAS is then deployed by the nest.

The type of UAS deployed to respond to an event, and its flight path, are dictated by computer logic. For instance, for a fire event, a UAS with a thermal camera would be deployed.

Also, if necessary, more than one UAS can be sent out at a time to respond to a particular alarm. The UAS are interconnected, and every UAS is on Rajant’s mesh network, which allows them to communicate with each other, share information and work together to fly to a location, and obtain aerial intelligence faster than what can be achieved by a land vehicle.

Once deployed, the UAS flies along a predetermined route to investigate an event. Operators can view the scene and take remote control if needed, thanks to there being an open link between the UAS’ feed and a command center.

After completing its investigation, the UAS returns to the nest, docks, and begins recharging. It then waits for its next mission.

​The entire process is autonomous.

The communications and flight control system are “platform agnostic,” giving companies the freedom to use the UAS that best fit their applications. In real time, the personnel can monitor the UAS’ avatar, along with its telemetry, communications and live video feed, using a control station.

One person can control the entire fleet of UAS, as well as the cameras aboard each UAS, so that cameras can be angled towards a specific region of interest.

Lee Stauss, CEO for AlarmTransfer, believes that this technology could be monumental for the industry going forward.

“Rajant’s network and the x2i drone allow us to build an aerial platform to create faster response times take some burden off the police department, with a camera system to deter crime,” Stauss says.

“The key is being able to intervene and change the course of an event as it’s unfolding. With this technology, we don’t have to stand by passively and wait for first responders to arrive. Now, when something happens, we have the ability to go out and stop it.”