Nokia won a contract to supply a drone network platform and 70 units to specialist Belgian provider Citymesh, with the system set to provide critical aerial data to emergency services.

The deployment comprises the Nokia Drone Networks platform and 70 drone-in-a-box units, which the vendor noted was enough to “blanket Belgium with a 5G automated drone grid”.

Drones and their docking stations are set to be positioned in 35 emergency zones across the country, and will be able to quickly gather information during the so-called critical 15 minutes following an incident.

The units will be able to deliver high-definition, AI-enhanced thermal imaging to provide insight into elements such as smoke plumes and fire parameters, alongside details on the whereabouts and number of people in the vicinity.

Data will be available to emergency services in near real-time.

Citymesh is branding the system Sense and has already trialled it in various settings, including with the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, City of Genk, Brussels Airport Company and a fire brigade in Kortrijk.