County agencies unveil new drone



Members of law enforcement and emergency management proudly display Blount County’s newest piece of technology – the DJI Matrice 210 UAV drone. The drone is expected to be used in many different capacities, including searches and manhunts, storm damage surveys, aerial imagery for mapping and wildfires and structure fires or any time there is a need for ‘eyes in the sky.’

According to officials, the drone is the only one of its kind in use in Alabama and it supports equipment like a 4K zoom camera and an infrared imager. It also has a transponder with which it can communicate with surrounding aircraft and obstacle avoidance sensors and a flight time of roughly 80 minutes.

The drone (and camera package) was purchased for $24,000 as part of a coordinated effort among 13 different agencies and it provides a platform of use that would not otherwise be financially feasible for the county.

Rob Rice