Friday, December 11, 2015

Using UAVs to Fight Fires - It's Really Happening!

Photo source: Andrew Barry

The secret's out - students and professors at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln's Nebraska Intelligent Mobile Unmanned Systems Laboratory, or NIMBUS Lab, have found new ways of using unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVS, to combat wildfires. 

They wanted to make something similar to aerial ignition, a technique used by firefighters to control wildfires, but on a much smaller scale. One form of aerial ignition comes from using a plastic sphere dispenser that attaches to a helicopter and drops ping pong-like balls filled with chemicals that, when injected with liquid glycol, an anti-freeze, light themselves on fire within seconds. Starting with this idea, students found a way to shrink down the concept and mount it on a drone.  Check it out here.  

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