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Drone technologies for forest fire fighting



Firefighting technology illuminates the road as global fires reach unprecedented proportions. The scale and frequency of forest fires is growing rapidly around the world. In California, six of the twenty largest wildfires in the state's history occurred in 2020. The devastation was so devastating that a new term was even coined - the world's first "gigafire" - an unprecedented fire spanning more than a million acres, or more than five times the size of New York. In Australia, the so-called Black Summer Fire season of 2019/20 consumed approximately 46 million acres and destroyed almost 6,000 buildings in the process. With nearly 80 percent of the total population directly or indirectly affected by the fires, the estimated material damage and economic loss exceeds $ 70 billion, making it the most costly natural disaster in Australian history. Elsewhere, the Amazon has suffered the worst damage in more than a decade, with the volume of fires in the Pantanal wetland coinciding with the last six years combined. In the Arctic, meanwhile, the Siberian heat wave has brought temperatures to an extraordinary 38 ° C (100 ° F), contributing to another summer of forest fires that surpassed the record highs seen in the previous year.

 


Fire drones for prescribed burns

As the frequency and severity of forest fires increase, our ability to protect people and property from fires will be tested. Unfortunately, since 2000, about 400 forest fire fighters have been killed in the line of duty, and some experts have expressed fears that the number will increase. Fortunately, new technologies are emerging to meet these challenges, such as IGNIS; the innovative new solution for firefighting drones, which allows firefighters to conduct remotely controlled combustion operations. Controlled or prescribed combustion is a critical component of forest fire prevention in which fires are intentionally started under controlled conditions to reduce fuel accumulation. Active forest fires can also be limited by controlled burns that deprive them of fuel. While controlled burns are traditionally ignited with hand-held drip burners, IGNIS allows firefighters to conduct operations remotely, increasing both their safety and the scale of the operation. "IGNIS was developed in response to how best to protect firefighters from the inherent dangers of prescribed fires," "An average of 17 pilots of forest fire planes die each year in the United States alone, but using drone firefighting technology, firefighters can safely to start fires from remote positions without having to expose personnel to dangerous situations. "A complete solution for forest fire drones is the IGNIS system, which carries a payload of ignition spheres the size of a ping-pong ball filled with a flammable substance. Before being lowered to the ground, the individual spheres are activated, a chemical reaction begins that makes them ignite about 30-40 seconds later.

 

 

 

 

Deceptively simple, the system is backed by some remarkably sophisticated technology that gives firefighters complete control over where and how to light a fire. Users can manually select flights or use the IGNIS application to set a series of points for automated flights. Precise topographic overlays can be uploaded so that flight trajectories and altitude parameters can be set according to the actual terrain. When users set specific models of falling sphere distances for wider or more focused fires, IGNIS will automatically adjust the deployment of the sphere to compensate for changes in wind speed and speed. The built-in Acceco thermal camera also means firefighters can monitor real-time controlled fires and make adjustments on the go.

 

 

Full integration with Acceco Drone IGNIS is designed to be fully integrated with the drone platform that carries it. Fully loaded, the IGNIS weighs 4 kg and requires a drone not only with the ability to lift heavily, but also with battery life to withstand 20-30 minutes of flight time. "But the most important thing is reliability and stability." So having a simple and reliable system that works is crucial.
Controlled burns: drones against helicopters Along with hand-held drip burners, the most common method for prescribed combustion operations is by helicopter. Helicopters currently use a system similar to IGNIS for ignition, albeit on a larger scale. However, helicopters also come with their own risks. "Unfortunately, about 25% of firefighters' deaths are related to aviation," and although they are still extremely useful tools for fighting forest fires, they still put personnel in danger, not far from it, which is one of the key things that drone firefighting technology overcomes. "Helicopter operations are also extremely expensive. While staff safety will always be a priority, with about $ 60 billion a year spent fighting forest fires in the United States alone, costs are a growing factor in preventing forest fires. However, according to a study. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, drone-based air ignition operations would cost only $ 1,800 a day, compared to the $ 16,000 a day required for helicopter operations. Cheaper by hand limits operations to relatively small areas, while there are many operations that are simply not large enough to guarantee the cost of a helicopter. IGNIS bridges this gap by making medium operations much more profitable.