Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. company, announced at the Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In & Expo in Lakeland, Fla., a program to market aerial law enforcement platforms that are more affordable, effective and simpler to implement. Cessna’s Enforcer program is designed to offer select Cessna single-engine aircraft outfitted with the latest surveillance and communications capabilities.
To date, airborne law enforcement has been dominated by rotary wing platforms. According to Umscheid, a fixed-wing aerial asset is a smart solution that delivers much more mission flexibility than a helicopter, and at a substantially reduced direct operating cost.
The capabilities of the surveillance package extend beyond the cockpit. The camera can be hard-wired into the Garmin G1000 avionics suite and the multi-function display can be toggled to display the strut-mounted camera. This signal can be routed to an officer in the plane who is controlling the camera through his laptop, while the signal is sent to his fellow officers on the ground through 3G network connectivity. This provides a real-time feed from airborne counterparts.
The Enforcer package offers technology and equipment that drive benefits outside just law enforcement. Equipment can be adapted for other business missions, including pipeline mapping, surveying storm damage, tracking wildfires, real estate surveys, broadcast television, search and rescue, and assessing environmental emergencies. The cameras can be used with visible light or infra-red light, while search and rescue (SAR) software enables the autopilot to fly a predefined search and surveillance pattern. The equipment was carefully selected to be a good fit with the Cessna airplanes, and installation of basic surveillance packages is expected to take roughly four to six hours. The Enforcer program is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2012. A prototype Enforcer aircraft will be on display through the remainder of the Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In & Expo.